Technology Means More With Less
Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
Like a growing number of U.S. farmers, Ken Davis uses a global positioning system to assist in planting seeds and applying just the right amount of fertilizer on his fields.
It helps produce more corn without increasing input costs from chemicals such as fertilizer or herbicides, said Ken, whose farm is outside Leesburg, Ohio, a town of 1,200 surrounded by the checkerboard squares of dozens of other family farms.
Four generations of Davises have farmed this land, going back to 1932. Yet these days Ken, who has a master’s degree in agriculture, has a leg up: New technology means larger yirlds every year with less of an environmental impact.
Ken figures the fields he’s already cultivating using GPS are saving him 10 percent in fuel, seeds and pesticides. He’ll also be doing less tilling of his corn, which saves about 40 percent of the fuel he needs to plant and harvest his crop, disturbs the land less, prevents erosion and keeps greenhouse gases in the soil and out of the air.
“Every year,” Ken says, “corn farmers are proving to the world that we can, and are, producing an abundance of safe, healthy, nutritious food, feed and fuel, and we are doing it while improving the quality of our environment, our communities and our economy. “
National Corn Growers Association news