Technology is changing the way most of us work these days, and farming is no exception. There are several new ag-tech companies dedicated solely to making agriculture more efficient. Kai Ryssdal spoke with Lauren Smiley, who wrote about the trend for the New York Times.
The farmers, she said, are aiming for what’s called precision agriculture. “You use just enough water, pesticide and fertilizer that a single crop needs to have maximum yields,” she said. “And no more.”
One ag-tech company flies planes over fields to take extremely detailed photos from the sky.
“All of this data is then sent through these algorithms to come up with a water stress index,” Smiley said. This gives farmers far more information than they could learn from the naked eye — it shows exactly which crops need more water or fertilizer.
Click the audio player above to hear the full interview.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.
You make our
Support nonprofit news you love with a gift today.