Precision Farming: Ancient Practice Gets Ultramodern Boost


“Peanut farmer Richard Barber, 71, said he recalled when his Romeo neighbors were suspicious of a new technology that could make the days of mule-led agriculture a thing of the past.

“The tractor, that “new” technology, is what brought modern, industrial agriculture to reality, though it is just one tool that Barber and farmers like him use to make agriculture as efficient and precise as possible.

“”It’s a long way from mule farming to GPS farming,” said Barber, who uses a $70,000-plus global positioning system for his two auto-steering tractors. The GPS communicates a signal to a receiver on Barber’s farm, a communication between the two devices that keeps the tractor driving in a straight line, managing a land with hilly, sandy plots. Creating straighter lines translates into more space to grow peanuts, increasing profit and minimizing the need for human labor.”