How Digital Farming Increases Productivity

According to the article, Precision Farming vs. Digital Farming vs. Smart Farming: What’s The Difference? “The essence of digital farming lies in creating value from data. Digital farming means to go beyond the presence and availability of data to develop actionable intelligence and meaningful added value from such data.” 

In other words, digital farming is a valuable aid to effective farming management, and it can help your customers increase productivity. Digital farming can help you provide your producers with a solution that will make their farm sustainable, productive, and profitable by using agricultural technology, like the DTN ClearAg solution. 

DTN ClearAg provides you with a comprehensive suite of proven, purpose-built environmental data, models, and tools that deliver actionable results today. 

This article will discuss the positive results that can come from digital farming. Digital farming has a broad scope that affords a range of benefits. 

The following sections focus on how digital agriculture can support farming management. Specifically, how it improves soil health, gives your customers and your partners access to shared information, and utilize yield mapping or field productivity zoning to increase efficiency.

First, here is some background information on digital farming.

What Is Digital Farming?

Whether a farm is large or small, digital farming is about bringing the power of technology such as data science, digital communication channels, and automation and sensors together to enhance decision-making ability. If farmers can use the data they gather effectively, digital farming can facilitate decisions that will lead to better farming management and increased productivity. 

The gathering and sharing of real-time data can help all in the agricultural industry, including farmers, work more efficiently. More efficient farming leads to a better-managed and more productive farm.

This, in turn, leads to a greater yield and more profits. For example, the data that an irrigation expert can gather from soil sensors on a farm can be used to determine the best time to water those crops so as not to over-water them – which wastes time and resources – but also so as not to under-water them – which leads to a lower yield.

 There are some specific and tangible benefits of digital farming, starting with soil health.

Close-up of hand in soil

Soil health

An experienced farmer will understand the importance of monitoring and maintaining the health of your soil. Often what are seen as production problems are just problems that are symptomatic of unhealthy soil.

Problems can result if the organic matter in the soil gets depleted. There needs to be a healthy mixture of soil organisms present in the ground for it to be healthy.

A significant advantage of digital farming includes its ability to help farmers prevent the development of unhealthy soil. When it comes to soil health, the proverb “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” certainly applies.

Digital farming can enhance efforts to maintain soil health by providing technologies that make it easier to visualize, understand, and improve soil fertility. 

Sensors strategically placed at appropriate locations on the farm allow you to remotely monitor soil moisture and humidity, nutrient levels, temperature, and acidity. If connected to an irrigation system, these sensors can then automatically keep the soil properties at certain levels by delivering precise amounts of water and fertilizer, etc., at the right time. 


Access to information sharing

Presently, there is an abundance of data being collected at all levels within the global agricultural industry. In addition, there are now a plethora of digital technologies that make a tremendous amount of farm and even field-level data very easy to collect.

Data collection is an essential step before unlocking the actual value of that data through analyses and data sharing. A farmer who sees the importance of data, will first need to take steps to collect, store and share that data. Then, they will not only get to use the data themselves, but they can make it available to you, advisors, partners, and suppliers who can also use that information to improve efforts.

Here are some of the benefits to farming management that come from data sharing:

  • Reduces the need to collect the same data multiple times
  • Gives site-specific information at a field-by-field level, or even more precise levels if needed
  • Allows for collaborative development of actionable decisions based on accurate farm data, including risk reduction, improved efficiency, and increased profitability
  • Enables development of new insights and ideas resulting in the resolution of complex problems
  • Facilitates scientific research and innovation based on trustworthy data 

Tractor plowing field with data coming from behind

Field productivity zoning

A productivity zone is an area within a field that has been assessed regarding its level of productivity. Each field can have zones that have historically harvested either much or little. This harvesting can vary from season to season. Some sections are regarded as low productivity zones on any given farm and in any given field, and some are labeled as higher productivity zones.

To identify productivity zones in fields, farmers can subscribe to a digital service provider that supplies data on an ongoing basis once its allocated to fields to its mapping and data gathering application. 

In specific fields, productivity is very variable in each zone. If there is a consistent variance in productivity within a field, it makes no sense to deal with the whole field in the same way. Therefore, having access to this kind of yield mapping data can be a significant advantage in farming management. 

Digital farming lets agribusinesses proved their farmers with the tools to apply productivity zoning to their fields faster with the help of crop monitoring software. By analyzing the data and matching seeding and fertilizer allocation accordingly, they will be more efficient and reduce costly resource waste.


Revolutionize farming management

Digital farming can revolutionize farming management and make farms more sustainable, productive, and profitable. The DTN ClearAg solution gives your customers a comprehensive suite of proven, purpose-built environmental data, models, and tools that deliver actionable results. 

Use DTN ClearAg so that your customers can make better farming management decisions today.