Find out more about three technologies that contribute to the work in the field

When associated with the technical and tacit knowledge of rural workers, innovations bring benefits such as profit and sustainability to the field.

28 July 2021

Technological advancement has been reflected in changes for many professions, and in the field, it's no different. However, despite sometimes being seen socially as an enemy — capable of “replacing” human work — the main function of innovation has been to assist in the daily lives of rural producers, facilitating their daily lives and helping to obtain more productivity. It is no wonder that, today, 84% of Brazilian farmers use at least one technology as a tool to support their work, according to a study by the Brazilian Agricultural Research Company (Embrapa) in partnership with the Brazilian Support Service for Micro and Small Enterprises (Sebrae) and the National Institute for Space Research (INPE).

"Associated with production techniques and the vast tacit knowledge of farmers, technological innovations allow resources to be used more and more intelligently in the field, ensuring that benefits such as profit and sustainability are possible and contributing to the advancement of an even more efficient new agribusiness," states Bernardo de Castro, president of Hexagon's Agriculture division — a company that develops and provides technological solutions for agricultural and forestry areas.

Learn more about three technologies that help this professional work:

Software for optimised planning

Unforeseen events have always been a major challenge for farmers. However, currently, there are already specific software to assist in the planning of operations, allowing these professionals to be better prepared to deal with the different situations of their daily lives.

"Making an optimised planning of each step of the production, calculating possibilities and variants and closely monitoring operations is essential. Although it does not prevent accidents, these actions allow more assertiveness in decision-making and agility in responding to conflicts, avoiding great losses in crops," explains Bernardo de Castro.

Technologies for planting planning, for example, are able to analyse production areas, point out the need for reforms, indicate the soil and the ideal varieties for planting and calculate productivity curves, generating greater predictability in the costs with inputs and equipment. Already thinking about the harvest, the software helps to build plans that consider issues such as estimated production per area, maturation curves, geographic distribution, weather forecasts and even the demand of the market. Another advantage of optimised planning is the comparison with historical data from previous harvests, which assists in the predictability and correction of errors made previously.

Advanced management systems

In order for an agricultural operation to be successful, it is important not only to plan, but also to maintain active management. However, with so many details to be analysed — productivity issues, use of different inputs, fuel consumption, machine maintenance, cash flow etc. — this management becomes very complex, depending on the support of technology to achieve a more strategic vision.

Through sensors and onboard controllers integrated with agricultural machinery, systems generate data and provide exportable reports, maps, graphs and tables, allowing an accurate understanding of the processes that happen in rural areas.

"With the visualization and cross-referencing of this information, task management becomes much simpler and decision-making much more accurate. The most sensitive stages of production are identified and the actions necessary to adjust them can be carried out in an agile manner by the farmer", emphasises Bernardo de Castro.

Fertiliser and spray controllers

Another innovation that facilitates and improves the work of farmers is the control of fertilisers. This type of solution regulates and automates the application of inputs intelligently, allowing each part of the soil to receive the ideal number of fertilisers and correctives according to their characteristics.

The president of Hexagon's Agriculture division explains that this distribution is made from georeferenced maps, which are generated based on productivity histories and soil analysis. "In addition to correctly spreading the nutrients, failures and fertilization deviations are reduced, which increases productivity and generates a savings of about 20% in the inputs applied," he adds.

Similarly, there is also sprayer control technology, which helps in combating invasive plants, pests and diseases in farming. This controller ensures the distribution of the ideal dosage of pesticides without application failures and also promotes an automatic shutdown of the spray section in overpass situations, avoiding waste. "As the purchase of herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides weighs on the pocket, this certainty that the pesticides will be used at the right target and in the right quantity makes all the difference to profitability," Bernardo points out.

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