NC East Alliance helps introduce technology to local farmers

GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT) – Robots in the field how to solve broadband problems. Several key topics were covered Friday morning in a webinar titled “Smart Ag: Emerging Technologies in Farming” hosted by NC East Alliance.

“Like any other business, agriculture has adapted to the availability of technology on the farm,” said Mitch Smith, North Carolina agricultural extension officer with the North Carolina County Cooperative Extension Service. of Pitt. “It allowed us to be more efficient and more economical because we used inputs on the farm. So that’s really allowed our eastern NC farms to stay competitive over the years because it’s provided a lot of shortcuts for our farmers.

When talking about how robots are used for farming, the concept is to ensure that crops are not picked and to ensure that they are taken care of during labor shortages. ‘work. Even if robots are not yet very present in ENCs for agriculture, this could change in the future.

“This is something that we believe will happen over time as you have fewer farmers and the size of the farms gets more labour, the availability of labor decreases . And as a result, you’ll have to rely more and more on that kind of technology,” Smith said.

Drones would also be used to help keep crops sprayed.

As it will be prime time for cotton planting next week, a device called “cotton planting conditions calculator” is encouraged.

“This website is science-based and it helps a grower determine exactly whether or not I should plant this field next week, or wait until later in the month to do so. Another way technology is making a difference on the farm and improving the bottom line,” Smith said.

One issue raised during the discussion was internet reception for farmers and how systems and equipment might work with poor reception. One suggestion that has been highlighted and has already been tested is the use of private cell phone data networks for farms.

“We’ve heard a lot about digital equity,” said Dr. Jason Ward, assistant professor of biological and agricultural engineering at North Carolina State University. “We need to make sure people in rural communities have good access to high-speed internet and make sure it’s well-maintained and affordable.

Smith said when a private industry brings a piece of equipment onto the farm, they take the time to explain to producers how to use it. Ultimately, the goal is to help our local farmers.

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