Inspired by the rapid development of affordable ICT tools, precision agriculture and precision technologies are gaining more and more space in agriculture, worldwide. In the following blog, a young Hungarian farmer, who is a practitioner and an expert on this topic, shares his journey with us on how he became a consultant on precision farming.
“During my studies on agricultural engineering, I heard relatively little about precision farming technologies, it was introduced shortly only in hands-on training. The primary purpose of these training was to obtain some basic knowledge, of course” – says Jakab Kauser, the managing director of K-Prec Ltd.
“However, during the final internship of my BSc studies, I had the opportunity to get closer to this topic, by chance, as another trainee’s job in this farm was exactly to investigate and to analyze the effects of the introduction of precision farming technologies on the farm. Our frequent conversations and his experiences, shared with me, turned my attention to this field. After graduation, the first evident result of my deepening interest was that in the family farm of my father-in-law, I was entrusted with these precision-related workflows. Accordingly, introduction and supervision of GPS-controlled tractors and other precision devices became my task, what I performed with pleasure. During this work, I established a good relationship with the distributors of these tools, so I had the opportunity to try and test these commercially not available devices. Moreover, they provided me also the necessary GIS software for the processing of generated data during the test phases. I started to learn about it in a completely self-educated way.
Consultancy, based farming experiences
The practical field work, my own experiences with the precision tools (such as monitors, yield mappers, nitrogen sensors, etc.), the learning process of GIS software, as well as my professional background in plant protection, altogether afforded me the starting impetus to establish my own consulting company, and to give professional advice for those farmers, who wanted to develop further their farms by means of precision farming technologies. My work focuses mainly on the design and monitoring of experiments, as well as on the evaluation of results.
During my work, thanks to the practical background, I created a good relationship also with the regional representatives of the various input-supplier companies, so I do not work only with the farmers, but also with agricultural companies. An additional advantage of the practical background is that we can set up the first test experiments in our own farm, next I can share these experiences with the partners. Regarding long-term plans, one of our objectives is to cooperate also with plant breeding units, because in this way we can obtain interesting and valuable experiences from both economic and research points of views.
In recent years precision agriculture has become a fashionable keyword. However, as I experienced, the wider dissemination of new technologies is often hindered by the way of thinking of producers, by the infrastructure of service providers, and by the mechanization conditions. Accordingly, as I formulated in the title, the attitude is one of the most important starting points if somebody wants to step further.
As precision technologies intend to support overcoming challenges in agriculture, our plan is to work further in this field, and to belong to the early innovators' camp in terms of testing and also of developing technologies, both as a farmer and a consultant.”
Picture credit: Jakab Krauser