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3 Exciting Ways That Technology Is Helping Family Farmers Be More Productive

If you're like many small family farmers, you undoubtedly already know that advances in technology are changing the face of agriculture. For instance, one of most traditional — and best — resources for small farmers is their local county extension office, which provides farmers with the latest information on university-based agricultural research either free of charge or for a very low price. In the past, these were mailed out at bulk mailing rates, which made them slow to arrive, but today's farmers can pull them up on a smartphone app within several seconds. This is just one example of how technology is making the typical farmer's job much easier. Following are just three more ways that you can utilize technological advances to make things better for your family farm.

Calving Sensors

Calving sensors are noninvasive devices that are mounted on the cow's tail for the purpose of monitoring the animal's contractions. You'll receive a text message one hour before the cow is due to give birth, and as you probably already know, attended calvings result in higher live birth rates. 

Remote Controlled Equipment 

Remote control technology now allows farmers to steer and monitor tractors, threshers, and other farm equipment from the comfort of their own home office or any other location with Wi-Fi connectivity. Since most small farmers handle their own equipment rather than hiring someone to do it, this provides you with the capability of doing several jobs at the same time. You can also program equipment to run automatically.


Biotechnology in the form of genetically engineered crops provides a superior product to the market and increases farmers' overall yields. For instance, crop varieties that have been bred to resist pests and disease require far less chemical controls than their traditional counterparts — not only will you save money on pesticide use and application, but you'll deliver a more desirable product to the market.

You're probably also highly aware that raising financing for new technologies isn't always an easy task. If your current budget doesn't allow for procuring new devices and equipment, it may be cost effective for you to get a farm and ranch loan for the purpose of implementing technological resources into your agricultural enterprise. For instance, if you're able to have more live births as the result of receiving text alerts that give you a heads-up concerning the time of calving, the money you make can be put toward loan payments.