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Home » GPS Tracking Blog & Software News » GPS Tracking for Agribusiness
October 04, 2013

GPS Tracking for Agribusiness

Farm Tractor

In the United States, agriculture continues to be a multi-billion dollar business. US farmers spend more than $4 billion a year on wages alone. From growing crops and raising livestock, to harvesting and delivering food products to all corners of the country, there are many businesses within the agricultural industry that will benefit from GPS tracking services.

GPS-guided robots can handle much of the manual labor involved in running a farm, including the more labor-intensive tasks that used to be done manually by farm hands. Many of these farming robots cost around the same amount as an average car, which is much less than the annual salary of a full-time employee. They can work long hours and at all hours of the day without breaks. With proper maintenance, these farm robots are able to last for many years. Robotic agriculture is currently more common in Europe, but it won't be long until it becomes mainstream for American farms as well.

Many of these farm robots are guided by GPS systems. But that's not the only application for GPS technology in agribusiness. Many farms also use GPS technology paired with satellite imagery to decide the best places to plant seeds. The farmers are able to look at the satellite imagery of their land using a Geographic Information System (GIS). This helps them determine where to plant which crops. They can then use GPS to act on their plans, guiding their seeder machines across their fields.

GPS tracking can also be used to keep tabs on the livestock on large ranches. Keeping track of the thousands of animals on a large farm could be nearly impossible, if not for the aid of modern technology. Animals tagged with low-powered GPS tracking devices are less likely to wander off very far and are more difficult to steal. Animals that do manage to wander off are much easier to recover. Also, farmers who are able to see historic data of where their animals have grazed are able to make better decisions about where to send them to graze next. This helps prevent overgrazing in any one part of the ranch. GPS can help with other farm tasks too, such as irrigation planning, water runoff, and pesticide distribution.

Farm equipment is expensive. Equipment that is either lost or stolen could have a devastating impact on a farm's already razor-thin profit margins. GPS devices could be used to keep track of more expensive and mission critical pieces of farm equipment, making them easier to recover if stolen.

GPS and robotics are not yet able to displace workers on the farm entirely, and they probably never will. Skilled labor and savvy farmers are still necessary requirements to compete in such a challenging business and to produce all the food the country needs. However, much like the invention of the steel plow, windmills, and the tractor, robotics, automation, and GPS will offer the labor-saving technology necessary to produce enough food for an ever-growing population. Farmers sometimes have a reputation for being slow to adopt new technologies. But that simply isn't true. When a new technology comes along that can make their farm more productive while lowering their costs, most are eager to adopt it.
If you're interested in starting a GPS tracking business to serve the needs of the agricultural industry, sign up for a free demo of Position Logic's GPS tracking platform.

Photo Credit: Andrew Stawarz via: imager.io, cc