Bringing the latest technology into their operations has many benefits for new farmers, says Francois le Grange, agri specialist at FarmSol. Le Grange is one of the guests on this week’s Farmer’s Inside Track podcast and explains how tech can bring about savings on the one hand and better yield on the other.
“The introduction of technology allows farmers to increase their plant production efficiency by providing them with the opportunity to plant more hectares within the planting window. It also ensures that farmers apply only the required crop inputs, thanks to precision equipment application capabilities.”
In other words, by adding technology to their production, farmers save on input costs like fertiliser, while maximising the potential of their land and their projected yield at the same time. Le Grange is also a big supporter of using technology to manage crops by mining data from the technology.
“Farmers are able to track and monitor crops and record useful data such as soil classifications, rainfall per season and crop health, or pinpoint any problems within their fields so that they can rectify them.”
Le Grange says that new farmers should try and implement technology into their production as soon as possible. He finds that farmers who implement technology tend to keep with the latest trends and improve their chances of more profitable yields.
“Although incorporating new technology can be expensive, there are many [free] agricultural apps that farmers can now download, which can be used to map fields as well as to add important seasonal data. [This information] they can incorporate into their planning. Farmers need to identify their specific needs per farm, and work around a plan that best suits [those] needs.”
Find the right apps
Climate View is one example of new technology that can help farmers improve their production. Le Grange says that this app allows farmers to map their fields and record important data per field, such as crop type, rainfall per season, production inputs, soil health, crop health, etc.
“This is extremely useful as it allows the farmer to create a comprehensive plan around his or her production season before any money is spent. Farmers can also compare historical data from previous seasons to ensure there is a constant improvement on your farm.”
The Climate View app is one of the methods FarmSol has been using to improve production for new farmers enrolled in its programme. “Together with the technical advisors at FarmSol, the farmers and the agri specialists work hand in hand on the app, to plan and manage the crops. This allows all FarmSol farmers to benefit from advanced technology they would otherwise not be able to afford.”
Other podcast highlights:
The best agriculture news podcast on the planet also features other highlights for the agricultural sector this week:
- 101 of cannabis farming: Cannabis farming is predicted to have massive profit potential. Right now, however, the industry is proving to be tricky to navigate. We speak to CEO and co-founder of Cheeba Africa, Trenton Birch, for some insight into the industry.
- Agricultural exports: South Africa has had an extremely favourable first quarter this year in terms of export earnings. Dawie Maree, head of information and marketing at FNB Agriculture, tells us why he thinks export earnings the rest of the year will continue to be favourable.
- Book of the week: Our book of the week is “Farmer Innovation in Africa: A Source of Inspiration in Agricultural Development” by Chris Reij & Ann Waters-Bayer. The book is being reviewed by Food for Mzansi citizen journalist Terri-Ann Brouwers.
- Farmer’s Tip of the Week: Our farmer tip this week comes from Ayanda Ntshangase, a vegetable farmer from KwaZulu-Natal.
- Soil Sistas: This week’s #SoilSista, powered by Food for Mzansi and Corteva Agriscience, is rabbit farmer Lesego Morapeli from North West. This farmer is a force to be reckoned with.
How to listen to Farmer’s Inside Track
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