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Discussing the changing face of technology in agriculture

Entrepreneurs in Iowa are using technology to solve big problems in one of the most important fields

Posted: Aug 17, 2019 1:34 AM

SHEFFIELD, Iowa - Technology has become part of virtually every facet of our lives, and the same applies to agriculture.

At Friday's Ag Tech Talk at Sukup Manufacturing, entrepreneurs of Iowa-based businesses are sharing how advanced nutrition, algorithms and drones are creating jobs in the state while also bringing tech-enabled solutions to the farm. With less people working on the farm, Rantizo CEO Michael Ott shared how automation is increasingly necessary for ag; his company is partnering with drone company DJI to develop drones that can spray chemicals more effectively and efficiently crops. In July of this year, the company was approved to use aerial application of chemicals in the state.

Ben Pederson is a third generation corn and soybean farmer near Lake Mills, and is also the proprietor of two businesses: Sprout Ag Enterprises, and Vital Grains.

One of the key things he's seeing in ag is the rise of regenerative agriculture, which can help immensely with not only the environment, but also the food supply, as many companies such as Unilever, Smithfield and McDonald's are making it a core part of their business and philosophy plan.

"We're breathing new life into the soil, making it more biologically active and less prone to erosion. We're sequestrating carbon to help with climate change, we're maintaining water quality because we're able to get more water to infiltrate through our soil rather than running off."

And he only sees technology's presence in ag continuing to increase.

"The ability to analyze large data sets that can hopefully provide power to the farmer in making better decisions to make their farms more productive and a sustainable operation for the next generation."

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