Nebraska’s ag tech leadership | Opinion
Agricultural technology has come a long way since farmers used oxen and horse-drawn plows to break the prairie sod. Huge advancements are being made each year in ag tech, and Nebraska’s companies and universities are leading the way. The technologies they’re developing run the gamut from pioneering livestock management techniques, to innovations in the way crops are grown, to advancements in equipment.
Our growing expertise in agricultural technology brings a number of benefits to our state. It makes Nebraska a very attractive place for agricultural manufacturers to invest, grow, and create jobs. It gives our ag community a competitive advantage in a global economy by making them more productive. And it helps ag producers wisely care for their animals and steward our natural resources.
Nebraska has long been a powerhouse in agricultural machinery production. One significant example of this: Nebraska is home to the vast majority of center pivot manufacturing in the world. From McCook to Hastings to Omaha, companies like Lindsay, Reinke, T&L, and Valmont are at the forefront of innovation, finding new ways to use digital technologies to efficiently apply water to crops. For example, Lindsay’s Smart Pivot gathers data from high-resolution images and sensors to gauge the presence of weeds or pests and to detect nutrient deficiencies. Its FieldNET management platform then analyzes the data to recommend when and where to irrigate or apply pesticide. Additionally, the smart pivot’s machine health capabilities can report low tire pressure or a worn gearbox. Based on this information, growers can schedule repairs with a technician or adjust the timing of irrigation—all from a smartphone.