Technology has revolutionized how we live our lives. If you have a smartphone, you no longer need a map or atlas to find your way from Point A to Point B. You just open an app and put in the address. The phone takes it from there. Technology has changed and enhanced our lives for the better. It’s done the same for farming over the past 25 years. The concept of precision ag began in the 1990s and today it is helping farmers increase yields and decrease input costs.


Brett Peelen, Cain Ellsworth client and owner of 5th Gen Ag in Sanborn, Iowa, installs and repairs precision ag technology on all makes and models of equipment. He says these computerized solutions eliminate frustrations on the farm.


“People tell me they struggle with checking cattle on those cold, dark nights in winter,” says Peelen. “My response is let’s install cameras and then all you have to do is turn on your TV.”


In the field, variable rate technology reduces row overlap and gives producers precise application of seed and fertilizer. Sensors and drones can map fields and check soil moisture, providing an even more accurate yield map. Livestock producers also benefit from technology. Digital cameras and internet-enabled collars on livestock let ranchers monitor individual animal health, weight and feed consumption from their smartphone.


While precision ag technology creates efficiencies in a very labor-intensive industry, some producers are slow to embrace technology because of the cost of equipment. But Peelen says that shouldn’t be a deterrent. Most equipment can be retrofitted.


“We can essentially build a system that will turn your sprayer of today into the sprayer of tomorrow.”


Peelen started 5th Gen Ag to help producers work smarter not harder. That’s where he and Cain Ellsworth align.


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