Technology and farming – what about the smaller farms?

technology and farming

Sprayer from the Ottawa Farm Show

With each passing day technology progress more and more.

It’s crazy what we are able to do now versus what were able to do ten years ago. It seems like technology moves at a break neck pace.

Is technology good for farming?

This is something that I think about every now and again because I see two sides of the coin.

I see those farmers who can afford things like Trimble Autosteer, then you have the smaller farmers who have a hard time putting food on the table. It seems like two extremes.

Technology allows bigger farms to increase their yields and improve seeding and fertilizing. This is great, but what about those farmers who could benefit from that technology?

Also, with things like GMOs many people wouldn’t consider technology to be a good thing, at least in that department. GMOs is a topic for another post altogether though.

How do smaller farms get technology?

You could get a loan from the bank to buy new technology to improve your farm’s productivity, but then you owe the bank a hefty chunk of change. Also, you have to consider whether that new technology will provide enough of return on investment to merit its purchase.

I think this is the type of balance smaller farms have to deal with all the time.

One creative way to get funded to buy some technology is through Indiegogo and Kickstarter. I’ve read about cases where people funded a new project on their farm through these programs.

Now I’m not an expert when it comes to these platforms, so I am not sure how far you could take it. What I mean is, I’m not 100% if you could fund new technology through these methods.

Final thoughts

Technology can help farms increase yields and production. This equipment is affordable to larger farms but not always to smaller ones.

These days, farmers must be creative in their approach to getting new farm equipment. Think about solutions like crowdfunding.

What do you think? leave a comment.


Field mapping with google

Field mapping

photo by Nemo on pixabay

I was trying to use Foursquare to check in to fields. What ended up happening was map editing using Google maps. I thought this was really cool because what I found out was Google added a feature. The feature is the ability to create your own maps.  It  allows you to make your own personal maps and name your fields, so it is another way of field mapping. Now this isn’t the same type of mapping you would get from a yield map, but it is another way of keeping track of your farm.

It made me think again about why young farmers love tech. Think about it. Five to ten years ago we didn’t have the same amount of technology, or the level of technology. It has progressed so quickly.

Let’s get back to field mapping with Google.

What can it be used for?

Here is a list of how new farmers could use field mapping with Google:

  • Identify your fields.
  • Help plan crop rotations.
  • What you planted in the field.
  • What fertilizer you used.
  • When you fertilized.
  • What herbicides you use or shouldn’t use.
  • Keep people apprised of your field status.
  • Embed the map on your website.
  • Directions to a particular field.

Another feature that I didn’t think of personally, but I found here was using the Google maps feature to tell your local co-op which fields to spray. You can do that by giving them directions and emailing them the map.

How to create the map of your farm.

I made a quick video of how to do it.

Can’t see the embedded video, click here.


Here is a map that I put a bit more effort into.


Do you have any other ideas what you could use this for?