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What role will technology play on your farm?

Digital agriculture and precision equipment already impact the farm landscape. What does that look like on-farm today and tomorrow?

Pam Caraway

December 28, 2023

2 Min Read
Person using tablet in corn field
Getty Images/iStockPhoto

For Jason Orr, adopting new technology on farm is about efficiency, proficiency and accountability.

“In today’s fast-paced ag world, ag tech makes us as efficient as possible,” Orr said. “And it allows us to track everything we do. In today’s approach to a sustainable world, that tracking is growing ever more important.”

Orr is one of the speakers on The Future of Ag Technology panel at the Farm Futures Business Summit. Mike Pearson, host of This Week in Agribusiness on RFD-TV and the Farm Progress America radio show, will moderate a panel at 1 p.m., Jan. 10, featuring these ag tech leaders:

  • Kurt Maertens, technical service representative, BASF

    • Working in the crop protection industry for 25 years, Kurt has spent the last 13 working for BASF, utilizing experience in agronomy, application, and crop protection to support retailers and growers with training and recommendations, while also conducting product research and launching new innovations.

  • Jason Orr, owner-operator of Orr Farms in Rowley, Iowa

    • Orr, who farms with his wife, their son, and his parents, started using yield maps in 1998. They later adopted variable rate technology, starting with fertilizer, then planting, nitrogen applications, and more recently variable rate rootworm control. The Orrs also DNA test soil for rootworm pressures.

  • Scott Shearer, ag engineer and professor, The Ohio State University

    • Since joining The Ohio State University in 2011, Shearer’s research has included development of methodologies and controls for metering and spatial application of crop production inputs; modeling agricultural field machinery systems; autonomous multi-vehicle field production systems; and strategies for deploying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in agriculture.

  • Ben Sheldon, sales manager, Raven

    • Sheldon’s career Ben’s career includes a variety of roles within the CNH Industrial family of brands, including business analyst, technology project manager for Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, and technology marketing manager for the New Holland brand in North America. Ben recently joined Raven North America to lead their independent dealer network as sales manager for the United States and Canada.

Related:Will your farm survive after you?

The Farm Futures Business Summit not only focuses on ag technology, but also farm transition planning, finances, labor, and other strategic aspects of ag business. To register, visit register.farmfuturessummit.com.

About the Author(s)

Pam Caraway

Farm Futures executive editor

Pam Caraway became executive editor of Farm Futures in 2024. She has amassed a career in ag communications, including leadership roles in editorial, marketing and public relations. No stranger to the Farm Progress editorial team, she has served as editor of former publications Florida Farmer and Southern Farmer, and as a senior staff writer at Delta Farm Press.

She started her writing career at Northwest Florida Daily News in Fort Walton Beach. She also worked on agrochemical accounts at agencies Bader Rutter and Rhea + Kaiser.

Caraway says working as an ag communications professional is the closest she can get to farming – and still earn a paycheck. She’s been rewarded for that passion and drive with multiple writing and marketing awards, most notably: master writer from the Agricultural Communicators Network, a Plant Pathology Journalism Award from the American Phytopathological Society, and the Reuben Brigham Award from the Association for Communication Excellence.

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