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Published July 07, 2015, 07:39 AM

Technology makes farming efficient, keeps prices down

MITCHELL, S.D. — Call us awestruck, but farming has really advanced through technology. That’s obviously not big, breaking news. But let us take a moment to reflect on how far farming practices have come to make it a little less taxing on people who work in agriculture.

By: Mitchell (S.D.) Daily Republic, Forum Communications Co.

MITCHELL, S.D. — Call us awestruck, but farming has really advanced through technology.

That’s obviously not big, breaking news. But let us take a moment to reflect on how far farming practices have come to make it a little less taxing on people who work in agriculture.

A farm near Alexandria, S.D., held an open house to display one of South Dakota’s first monoslope cattle barns. The barn is designed with a roof with a single slant and owned by Doug Weber and his family. It is designed to make cows more comfortable through better shade, more airflow and by allowing winter sun into the building.

There is also a 12-foot deep pit below the barn that stores up to a year’s worth of manure. The pit helps better maintain the nutrients of the manure, which is later used as fertilizer.

This barn sounds like a wonderful investment, and apparently is one of the first three or four like it in the South Dakota, Weber says.

And that’s just one example of an advancement in agriculture.

Tractors are using GPS technology, while combines are getting bigger, faster and more precise.

Grain seeds have become more tolerant of drought and can grow in less-than-ideal soil.

We’ve heard stories about farmers using drones — which are small aircrafts flown without a pilot — to spot stressed grain in fields and to locate cattle across a field that might be lost.

Each year at Dakotafest in Mitchell, S.D., we see new and improved ways to make farming better. This year, Dakotafest is Aug. 18 to 20, and we presume attendees will see the newest advancement in agriculture.

And it’s important that agricul-

ture continues to advance with technology. Our state plays a big role in feeding the world and its growing population. Since a large burden is on our farmers’ shoulders, they should have the tools to allow them to work smarter, rather than harder.

Farming is an extremely laborious lifestyle. But we rely on these people to plant crops, raise livestock and go through an extensive harvest season so we can eat.

And technology for farmers is great for us as consumers when we go to the grocery store.

Agriculture technology leads to farming efficiency, which keeps food prices down.

So we’re glad, and even pretty amazed, at what technology can do for our farmers to make their jobs a little more efficient.

Editor’s note: The Mitchell Daily Republic is owned by Forum Communications Co., which also owns Agweek.

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