What does a Precision Agriculture Technician do?
Apply geospatial technologies, including geographic information systems (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS), to agricultural production or management activities, such as pest scouting, site-specific pesticide application, yield mapping, or variable-rate irrigation. May use computers to develop or analyze maps or remote sensing images to compare physical topography with data on soils, fertilizer, pests, or weather.
- Program farm equipment, such as variable-rate planting equipment or pesticide sprayers, based on input from crop scouting and analysis of field condition variability.
- Compare crop yield maps with maps of soil test data, chemical application patterns, or other information to develop site-specific crop management plans.
- Install, calibrate, or maintain sensors, mechanical controls, GPS-based vehicle guidance systems, or computer settings.
- Collect information about soil or field attributes, yield data, or field boundaries, using field data recorders and basic geographic information systems (GIS).
- Identify spatial coordinates, using remote sensing and Global Positioning System (GPS) data.
- Demonstrate the uses and applications of geospatial technology, such as Global Positioning System (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), automatic tractor guidance systems, variable rate chemical input applicators, surveying equipment, and computer mapping software.
- Divide agricultural fields into georeferenced zones, based on soil characteristics and production potentials.
- Compile and analyze geospatial data to determine agricultural implications of factors such as soil quality, terrain, field productivity, fertilizers, and weather conditions.
- Develop soil sampling grids or identify sampling sites, using geospatial technology, for soil testing on characteristics such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium content, pH, and micronutrients.
- Identify areas in need of pesticide treatment by analyzing geospatial data to determine insect movement and damage patterns.
- Recommend best crop varieties or seeding rates for specific field areas, based on analysis of geospatial data.
- Create, layer, and analyze maps showing precision agricultural data, such as crop yields, soil characteristics, input applications, terrain, drainage patterns, or field management history.
- Contact equipment manufacturers for technical assistance, as needed.
- Prepare reports summarizing field productivity and profitability in graphical or tabular form.
- Process and analyze data from harvester monitors to develop yield maps.
- Analyze remote sensing imagery to identify relationships between soil quality, crop canopy densities, light reflectance, and weather history.
- Apply knowledge of government regulations when making agricultural recommendations.
- Document and maintain records of precision agriculture information.
- Draw or read maps, such as soil, contour, or plat maps.
- Advise farmers on upgrading Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment to take advantage of newly installed advanced satellite technology.
- Apply precision agriculture information to specifically reduce the negative environmental impacts of farming practices.
- Participate in efforts to advance precision agriculture technology, such as developing advanced weed identification or automated spot spraying systems.
- Provide advice on the development or application of better boomspray technology to limit the overapplication of chemicals and to reduce the migration of chemicals to areas other than the fields being treated.