AG industry using more technology

AG industry using more technology

Posted: Feb 16, 2018 2:55 PM
Updated: Dec 23, 2019 11:56 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Just like with other professions, farming has become easier with the advancement of technology and like switching from horse driven plows to steam engines changed farming back in the 1800s, today's technology is taking things to new heights.

Jim Miller, the co-owner of Miller Family Farms can remember when his father was making changes. "I always felt like my father lived through the biggest generation change going from horses to tractors, but I firmly believe now I'm living through one of the greatest times in agriculture."

Jim and his son Tim are co-owners of Miller Family Farms in Waterloo are 4th and 5th generation American farmers. The family has switched from horses to tractors that drive themselves and drones with infrared cameras. Technology they knew was coming nearly 30 years ago.

"We had a friend that in 1988 worked for IBM and he told us back then that this technology was coming and I said "No. Absolutely no way," said Jim Miller.

His son Tom said "technology as a whole has made our lives incredibly easy. Now, farming is not an easy way of life, don't get me wrong, but compared to my grandpa who worked with horses, we have tractors now that drive themselves. We have planters that, like I said, change the population as they go across the field and we get real time maps through our combines that I can look at on an iPad or on my cell phone instantaneously as the operator goes across the field."

Along with local farms, the local AG businesses are helping fuel the technological revolution.

"The software world has come into the AG industry probably more than any other industry for automation and big data management," said Troy Fiechter, the CEO of AGNEXT in Bluffton, IN. He, along with his business partners invented the first autonomous soil sampling machine to help farmers get accurate soil data.

Fiechter said "what we're trying to do is help the farmers place their resources in the right spot because they're capitalist, they're business owners. So, if we can have more science involved with what is being applied, because we need to feed the world with less resources, to create a healthy product, and also to create a healthy environment."

The next step for technology is implementing weather data into maps generated by the machinery to aid in the successful planting and harvesting of crops.

Ryan Oehler, the Territory Leader of the Eastern Corn Belt for AG Leader Technology said "rainfall events, temperature growing degree days, those are all factors in how a crop grows and when we look at a yield map and try to understand why that crop did well or poorly that year, it's very helpful to have the weather data and weather records to attach to that."

This weather data is something Miller Family Farms is already implementing to save time and money.

"We get a map in real time of what actually the rainfall is because if we have a farm that's 20 miles north of here that didn't get much rain, we can move up there and plant that and wait a day and come back closer to home and plant a different field," said Tom Miller.

So don't be surprised if you see more tractors driving themselves in the future, because necessity is the mother of invention.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 578494

Reported Deaths: 9202
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion798821282
Lake43601664
Allen31380537
Hamilton27675303
St. Joseph26409369
Elkhart23873336
Vanderburgh18192211
Tippecanoe16999116
Porter14183158
Johnson14120277
Hendricks13560236
Madison10312209
Vigo10297171
Clark9952128
Monroe8933105
Delaware8638129
LaPorte8589153
Kosciusko777375
Howard7712136
Warrick624990
Hancock621995
Bartholomew616094
Floyd5971105
Wayne5811155
Grant5716108
Dubois533570
Boone523167
Morgan501485
Marshall487084
Henry483262
Cass464959
Noble453956
Dearborn443343
Jackson410145
Shelby394376
Lawrence374172
Clinton359838
Gibson348556
DeKalb333063
Montgomery329150
Knox323339
Harrison317242
Miami305043
Steuben300740
Adams291635
Ripley287145
Wabash286345
Whitley286324
Huntington278757
Putnam278046
Jasper274933
White262038
Daviess255671
Jefferson242738
Fayette239248
Decatur237382
Greene229259
Posey225626
Wells225146
LaGrange222061
Scott212837
Clay212432
Randolph204940
Jennings188635
Sullivan185831
Spencer176917
Fountain175125
Washington170216
Starke169241
Jay160521
Fulton156829
Owen155536
Carroll150115
Orange146333
Rush145618
Vermillion141633
Perry141327
Franklin139333
Parke12718
Tipton126232
Pike111325
Blackford105122
Pulaski93636
Newton87820
Brown84428
Benton83010
Crawford7229
Martin68013
Warren6427
Switzerland6035
Union6033
Ohio4547
Unassigned0372

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 807293

Reported Deaths: 9990
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin95508704
Cuyahoga80262964
Hamilton59783436
Montgomery40858396
Summit32488697
Lucas29495575
Butler29100225
Stark24048388
Warren18471135
Lorain17563207
Mahoning16430334
Lake14941134
Clermont14703103
Delaware1349574
Licking12353132
Trumbull12096297
Fairfield1184280
Greene11338132
Medina10815164
Clark10334261
Wood9742153
Allen9355126
Miami867373
Portage8628104
Richland8604111
Marion7231112
Tuscarawas6987172
Columbiana6922124
Pickaway689050
Wayne6599162
Muskingum648939
Erie5729117
Hancock529088
Ross518287
Scioto508753
Geauga469955
Darke450589
Ashtabula431467
Union422327
Mercer419485
Lawrence417051
Sandusky413262
Auglaize407059
Shelby404621
Seneca404354
Huron399738
Jefferson391565
Belmont378140
Putnam359370
Washington357039
Athens35469
Madison331128
Knox329022
Ashland322538
Fulton319043
Defiance311476
Crawford306769
Preble306434
Brown289617
Logan284828
Ottawa275534
Clinton272741
Williams265757
Highland255618
Jackson250743
Guernsey234625
Champaign233727
Fayette218929
Morrow21754
Holmes215562
Perry215317
Henry206147
Hardin200932
Coshocton194517
Van Wert193744
Wyandot186948
Gallia186226
Adams160815
Pike160116
Hocking157423
Carroll143216
Paulding137521
Noble116138
Meigs99021
Monroe93827
Harrison8428
Morgan75826
Vinton64013
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Mostly Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 19°
Angola
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 27°
Huntington
Cloudy
26° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 26°
Fort Wayne
Mostly Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 19°
Lima
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 23°
Cloudy Saturday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events