Kip Tom, a seventh-generation family farmer, harvests the staples of modern agriculture: seed corn, feed corn, soybeans and data.
“I’m hooked on a drug of information and productivity,” he said, sitting in an office filled with computer screens and a whiteboard covered with schematics and plans for his farm’s computer network.
Mr. Tom, 59, is as much a chief technology officer as he is a farmer. Where his great-great-grandfather hitched a mule, “we’ve got sensors on the combine, GPS data from satellites, cellular modems on self-driving tractors, apps for irrigation on iPhones,” he said.
The demise of the small family farm has been a long time coming. But for farmers like Mr. Tom, technology offers a lifeline, a way to navigate the boom-and-bust cycles of making a living from the land. It is also helping them grow to compete with giant agribusinesses.
The Latest on: Farming technology
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The Latest on: Farming technology
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