When discussing weather, water is often the main topic. In the upcoming volatile years, the question is how to deal with both too much and too little water. Crop water demand may even be increasing with or without drought. A few trends are really clear. There is increased frequency of high temperature stress, more rain in heavy rainfall events across the U.S. ironically with more summer droughts. Because growing seasons are longer with higher summer temperatures. more water is needed, says David Wolfe, Cornell professor of plant and soil ecology.
Robot-operated tractors scurrying around doing all the laborious farm work has been a pipe dream for equipment makers for many years, if not decades. But for the first time, manufacturers may actually be on the cusp of commercializing autonomous systems for various farm functions.
For years the sprayer industry has had a one-tracked agenda, reducing spray drift. But sprayer research and technology is set to diverge from that track, bringing smarter, more precise application options to the table, says Ken Giles, Univ. of California-Davis professor of agricultural engineering.
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