Smart Tractors?

Mar 18, 2017

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Blanchard Equipment joined with the Clemson Research and Development Center in Blackville to present a program on precision agriculture. We used to be amazed that tractors had air conditioning and radios – today they are more like mobile laboratories that are constantly gathering information and making adjustment as the machine travels throughout the field.

Researcher Ahmad Khalilianare maps fields for electrical conductivity with a Varsis machine. Based upon that data, he can program a tractor to apply fertilizer at variable rates as the tractor travels from one type of soil to another.  Over applications of nitrogen fertilizer are expensive and can lead to nitrogen run-off. Another demonstration showed how irrigation systems can deliver insect or disease treatments to specific areas of a field only  with savings in chemical costs and protection of the environment.