Dirt Road Charm

Motherhood, Agriculture, and everything in between

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Robots, Drones, Big Data.....Oh My!

This year I was honored to be asked back to cover the events of the Alltech Sympoium as a guest blogger.  I absolutely love this event because it is full of information and actually keeps your attention.  Which is normally a pretty hard task for me......you know the classic hold your head up by resting it in on your hand in attempts to make it look like you aren't napping through the session.  Yeah that has yet to happen here!  This year's symposium was all about the What if......

Founder and Owner of Alltech: Pearse Lyons

I love technology and I love hearing about what is coming down the pipeline when it comes to awesome gadgets and technology that will help the Agriculture industry be more responsible and efficient.  During this year’s Alltech symposium I got to hear about just that and the future is looking quite exciting!!

 My favorite session was: A Farming Revolution, which discussed drones and GPS and what the possibilities look like.  Majority of the drones that are available today to the average buyer are a small drone with 4 propellers that has the ability to take a photo over your field or location.   That is cool and all and has come a long way from where we were before which pretty much consisted of climbing the nearest silo or antenna tower to look out across the field and farm. 

Some of the ideas of what the future of drones looks like was mind boggling to me and makes my inner tech geek excited!  Some of the ideas and even projects being tested include the idea of having drones keep real time over long periods of time by hovering over the field or farm (kind of like a blimp).  How great would it be to be able to see exactly when your crop started to mature or when a certain disease was really spreading throughout your field?  That is valuable information to be able to capture. 

One of my favorite ideas was multiple small drones in large numbers flying over your fields at all times and even going so far as being able to suck up harmful insects and recycle them into fertilizer to help eliminate the use of insecticides and even recycle weeds into fertilizer to replace herbicides.  How amazing is that?  The best part is that it’s a serious possibility for the future of farming. 

One of the key statements that was said multiple times throughout the session is that farmers really need to be open minded to technology innovations and try to look beyond the practices that have been in place for multiple centuries.  While these practices have been successful we still need to be more efficient to be able to feed the 9 billion by 2050.  Also stated was the fact that farmers need to work together to share ideas and advancements and I couldn’t agree with that statement more!  The more we work together as an industry the better we are as a whole!

This year’s symposium did such an amazing job of really making you think “what if”.  The possibilities for the future of Agriculture really are endless.  I leave you with this question that was asked to us….. “Do you want to be the disruptor, or do you want to be disrupted?”


1 comment:

  1. DRC,

    My Mom has attended and covered past Alltech Symposiums for CALF News magazine. She love the symposium and visiting the Kentucky Horse Park. She was bummed out that she was unable to attend this years symposium.

    The more we work together as an industry the better we are as a whole! I agree. The ag sector is so much bigger than cows and plows. Our forefathers have built a solid foundation, we have learned a lot from them, but we must also embrace technology in today's fast paced and changing world.