Precision Agriculture Technicians

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics > Science and Mathematics

Projected Growth: Faster than average

9400+
Projected Job Openings

Considerable Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to Apply geospatial technologies, including geographic information systems (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS), to agricultural production or management activities, such as pest scouting, site-specific pesticide application, yield mapping, or variable-rate irrigation. May use computers to develop or analyze maps or remote sensing images to compare physical topography with data on soils, fertilizer, pests, or weather.

Common job titles of Precision Agriculture Technicians include:
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Experience and Education

A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for this occupation. For example, a person in this occupation must complete four years of college and work for several years in industry to be considered qualified.

  • 59.26% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.

  • 11.11% said they needed a Master's Degree.

Tasks

    Draw or read maps, such as soil, contour, or plat maps.

    Install, calibrate, or maintain sensors, mechanical controls, GPS-based vehicle guidance systems, or computer settings.

    Analyze geospatial data to determine agricultural implications of factors such as soil quality, terrain, field productivity, fertilizers, or weather conditions.

    Apply precision agriculture information to specifically reduce the negative environmental impacts of farming practices.

    Document and maintain records of precision agriculture information.

    Analyze remote sensing imagery to identify relationships between soil quality, crop canopy densities, light reflectance, and weather history.

    Create, layer, and analyze maps showing precision agricultural data, such as crop yields, soil characteristics, input applications, terrain, drainage patterns, or field management history.

    Identify areas in need of pesticide treatment by analyzing geospatial data to determine insect movement and damage patterns.

    Identify spatial coordinates, using remote sensing and Global Positioning System (GPS) data.

    Collect information about soil or field attributes, yield data, or field boundaries, using field data recorders and basic geographic information systems (GIS).

    Program farm equipment, such as variable-rate planting equipment or pesticide sprayers, based on input from crop scouting and analysis of field condition variability.

    Prepare reports in graphical or tabular form, summarizing field productivity or profitability.

    Analyze data from harvester monitors to develop yield maps.

    Demonstrate the applications of geospatial technology, such as Global Positioning System (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), automatic tractor guidance systems, variable rate chemical input applicators, surveying equipment, or computer mapping software.

    Use geospatial technology to develop soil sampling grids or identify sampling sites for testing characteristics such as nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium content, pH, or micronutrients.

    Provide advice on the development or application of better boom-spray technology to limit the overapplication of chemicals and to reduce the migration of chemicals beyond the fields being treated.

    Participate in efforts to advance precision agriculture technology, such as developing advanced weed identification or automated spot spraying systems.

    Contact equipment manufacturers for technical assistance, as needed.

    Recommend best crop varieties or seeding rates for specific field areas, based on analysis of geospatial data.

    Divide agricultural fields into georeferenced zones, based on soil characteristics and production potentials.

    Compare crop yield maps with maps of soil test data, chemical application patterns, or other information to develop site-specific crop management plans.

    Advise farmers on upgrading Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment to take advantage of newly installed advanced satellite technology.

Tools

Yield monitor systems

Variable rate applicators

Tractor mounted soil probes

Sprayer application equipment

Soil samplers

Soil electrical conductivity measurement devices

Seed drills

All Tools

Personal computers

Moisture monitors

Lightbar guidance systems

Laptop computers

Global positioning system GPS receivers

Field personal computers PC

Fertilizer spreading equipment

Desktop computers

Autosteering systems

Automatic land leveling systems

Automatic boom control systems

Air clutches

Technologies

ESRI ArcGIS software

Ag Leader Technology SMS Advanced

AGCO GTA Software Suite

ESRI ArcPad

ESRI ArcView

Farm Works Site Pro

GeoAgro GIS

All Technologies

John Deere Apex Farm Management

MapShots EASi Suite

Novariant AutoFarm AF Viewer

SST Development Group SSToolbox

Trimble AgGPS EZ-Map

Trimble AgGPS MultiPlane

Skills

Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Speaking

Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Writing

Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Mathematics

Using mathematics to solve problems.

Monitoring

Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Science

Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Coordination

Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Service Orientation

Actively looking for ways to help people.

Operation Monitoring

Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Systems Evaluation

Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

Abilities

Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

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Occupation Sections

Knowledge

English Language

Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Computers and Electronics

Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Food Production

Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.

Mathematics

Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Biology

Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Engineering and Technology

Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

Education and Training

Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Administration and Management

Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Geography

Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.

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