Sustainability

More Food, Less Environmental Impact

Helping Farmers Use Tech to Support Sustainability

Agriculture is flourishing as a technology-driven industry. Farmers don’t need to be in their offices to access farm data. Now, farmers can view data from their tractor cabs and have it sent immediately to their agronomist. As farmers continue to adopt new technology and implement it into their daily business routines, they all have a common goal: to use it effectively.

Farmers use technology for three reasons — improve efficiency, sustainability and profitability. On-farm technology and data management services help farmers:

  • Make informed decisions on future fertilizer and pesticide applications as well as seed selection.
  • Boost efficiency.
  • Decrease inputs, such as fertilizer and crop protection.
  • Increase yield.

In a nutshell, on-farm technology helps farmers do what they and their customers want: produce more food with less impact on the environment.

Tech Toolshed, a U.S. Soy resource, helps farmers fully utilize the tools they have, integrate new technology and manage the vast quantity of data available.

Tech Toolshed helps farmers adopt ag technology appropriate for their farms in incremental steps. The resource teaches farmers how to use technology, such as yield mapping, sensors and variable rate, and the data it produces to improve crop management, amplify sustainable efforts and boost the bottom line. These technologies maximize profits for farmers while enhancing on-farm sustainability — which is essential to farmers and their customers.

“Tech Toolshed can help you improve your decision-making, whether you don’t know where to start with a new technology or you don’t feel like you’re using it most effectively,” said Tom Oswald, USB director and farmer from Cleghorn, Iowa.

 

Unbiased Answers to Tech Questions

Farmers collect and analyze their on-farm data to save money and reduce their environmental impact. Tech Toolshed gives support to farmers who are interested in technology and data management, but unsure of how to take the first steps. Although ag technology isn’t new, the average age of a soybean farmer is over 55 years old, and technology adaptability hasn’t always been at the forefront of their minds. The United Soybean Board, which oversees the investments of the U.S. commodity checkoff program for soybeans, invests in programs like Tech Toolshed to raise farmers’ tech IQs to continuously improve sustainability.

From yield data, seed types and planting rates to in-season management, fertility levels and more, farmers use data to plan for the next year. Farmers will use their yield data and seed types from last year when purchasing new seed and developing fertility and pesticide programs for the next. Tech Toolshed guides them through the process to develop efficient strategies for a sustainable, high-quality operation.

“No one wants to ask a question and sound dumb,” said Oswald. “Tech Toolshed allows farmers to find a comfortable entry point for learning about ag tech from the comfort of their own homes.”

Tech Toolshed offers podcasts, editorial content and downloadable resources to help farmers leverage their tech to gain profitability and improve their sustainability efforts. The tech catalog provides unbiased descriptions and contact information for all the major ag tech companies that farmers partner with.

U.S. Soy supports this important program to give growers access to the information they need to make the best decisions for their farms and continue growing one of the most sustainable crops on the planet.

“The efficient use of technology doesn’t just help the farmer, but also holds the potential for making more data available about how we farm to spur future innovations and improvements — both economically and sustainably,” Oswald added.

U.S. Soy helps make whatever you make more sustainable. Steps to improve sustainability are taken throughout the soy value chain to create an environmentally-friendly product for end users to sell to consumers. Farm practices such as precision agriculture, pesticide-resistance management, reduced tillage, buffer strips and more all positively impact environmental goals including water quality, soil health and greenhouse gas emissions.

Visit unitedsoybean.org/sustainability-report to download the Soy Sustainability Report. 

Hannah Schlapp

Ag Communicator

St. Louis, MO