A recent article in the Perham Focus (Perham MN) talks about the challenges to stay in the black on the farm year after year. Commodity prices are out of their control, along with the weather, but attempts can be made with improvements in GIS, Geomatics, and Meteorology to reduce costs for farmers.
Better weather data will lead to better weather modeling, along with better remote sensing during storm events. The current modeling of elevation and soil type fits into today’s precision agriculture built into tractors and other pieces of farm equipment to minimize fertilizer application for the environment and expenses. Better transportation weather forecasting will help get crops to market and lower road maintenance costs to keep county taxes steady. Railroads like BNSF and CN can use better data for track maintenance and maximizing traffic to get crops to market.
The increase in drones on the farm in the future will help with post-storm damage on fields along with derived LiDAR data with products like AutoDTM from Hexagon Geospatial. Detailed storm damage can be used in boundary layer research into thunderstorms as weather radars scan high into the storms the farther away from the radar they are due to the earth’s curvature. The more thunderstorm processes are known with damage from flooding, winds, hail, and tornadoes the better damage modeling can be.
(c)2014 Charles Schoeneberger