Old McDonald’s farm was never like this. We’ll spy on how satellites and other new technology are helping farmers keep track of their cows and corn â€” today on Engineering Works!
McDonald never heard of the global positioning system – GPS. But if he was farming these days, he’d probably be using global positioning system technology to keep track of his cows and all the other animals. GPS satellites, computers, new sensors and other high-tech tools are helping farmers â€œharvest” information from their fields – information they can use to harvest more crops.
Sensors in this cornfield, for instance, are measuring how fertile the soil is.
GPS satellites overhead read where the sensors are, and the farmer’s computer puts the data together and draws a map to show which areas need more fertilizer, and what kind.
Other sensors â€œsee” where pests are chowing down on tasty crops, and map out where to apply insect killers. It’s all about making farming more efficient, doing the right things at the right time.
If you know exactly how much fertilizer and pesticide you need, and where you need it, you can be sure you’re applying enough without putting down too much. The same technology can also warn you about water pollution and other environmental problems before they get out of hand.
Bet Old McDonald wishes his farm was high-tech.
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