After American Sentinel University published Farmers Use GIS Technology for a Growing World, several agriculture publications ran similar stories about how the geography technology will help feed tomorrow’s population.
Recently, Iowa’s KAIA Farm Talk radio interviewed Dr. Devon Cancilla, American Sentinel University dean of business and information technology, and Gene Ziegler, geographer and business and information technology consultant for the university.
On the radio show, Ziegler says agriculturalists have long made maps, but with today’s advances in technology farmers can pinpoint locations.
“GIS allows us to look at things that are going on in great deal more detail than we ever have before, and it’s becoming an important part of business intelligence in all kinds of fields, but particularly agriculture,” Ziegler mentions.
Ziegler says precision agriculture means knowing down to the plant level of field productivity.
GIS technology software firm Esri, says GIS for agriculture means balancing the inputs and outputs on a farm to boast profitability. Ziegler adds that farmers can take soil samples almost on a plant-by-plant basis and process data with GPS coordinates.
“You have an opportunity to see patterns in soil fertilization, and whether or not additional fertilizer or water is needed,” Ziegler says.
Farming GIS technology also works for other industries. Agriculture relies on the soil, but municipalities must also maintain gardens and public parks. Government organizations are also using GIS in the same capacity as farmers—all in an effort to maintain beautiful landscapes.
For more from this interview with Dr. Cancilla and Farm Talk, listen here!