Precision agriculture

Precision agriculture merges the new technologies borne of the information age with a mature agricultural industry. It is an integrated crop management system that attempts to match the kind and amount of inputs with the actual crop needs for small areas within a farm field. This goal is not new, but new technologies now available allow the concept of precision agriculture to be realized in a practical production setting.

Precision agriculture often has been defined by the technologies that enable it and is often referred to as GPS (Global Positioning System) agriculture or variable-rate technologies. As important as the devices are, it only takes a little reflection to realize that information is the key ingredient for precise farming. Managers who effectively use information earn higher returns than those who don't.

It is the goal of extension efforts to provide educational opportunities to understand how to adopt and manage the technologies associated with precision agriculture to improve profitability, efficiencies, as well as protect the environment on their farming operation or agricultural business.

Information regarding online course offering — Machinery Management Using Precision Agriculture Technology — NO CURRENT OFFERING

Course description: This course focuses on agricultural equipment that is commonly used in conjunction with GPS technology. Planters, combines, fertilizer application equipment and sprayer application equipment are commonly equipped with GPS equipment to control and record operational parameters. These parameters focus around the equipments geographic location and can be recorded simultaneously with the volume of product applied and weather information (wind, temperature, humidity, etc.). GPS guidance is one of the main technologies to be studied throughout the course. The management of this equipment and the GPS technologies used to control and record this information is the focus of the course.

For further information and registering for the online course:

Course Brochure (PDF) — past offering

Course Outline (PDF)

For specific questions and more information contact: Kent Shannon, Natural Resource Engineer, University of Missouri Extension in Boone County,, 573-445-9792


Selected resources related to precision ag technologies

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) — A Blessing or a Curse — Next High-Tech Tool for Agriculture and Beyond (PDF) — Presentation made at the TACC South Texas Cooperative Manager/Director Conference — Corpus Christi, TX — Nov. 6, 2014

Making Better Management Decisions with Precision Ag Data: Today and into the Future (PDF) — Presentation made at the Global Agriculture Symposium — Santa Fe Agri-Leaders — Concordia, MO - Jan. 23, 2014

On-Farm Research An Educational Tool for Implementing Precision Agriculture Technologies (PDF) — Presentation made at the 2013 Galaxy IV — NACAA-AMPIC, Pittsburgh, PA


Off the Shelf Precision Ag Software – Its Utility for On-Farm Research (PDF) - Presentation made at 2012 Minnesota Crop Pest Management Shortcourse on Dec. 13, 2012