Associate professor Yovanna Pineda shares thoughts on her research of farm technology and global food production at the Farm Machinery Expo (Louisville, Kentucky) and Commodity Classic (Orlando, Florida)
For most people, farm technology is not something they ponder when they eat at a restaurant or shop at a grocery store. And perhaps it is taken for granted that we will always have food around us. In February 2019, my recent research trips to two of the largest farm machinery and farmer expositions helped support my thesis on the importance of global farm technology and its changes over the past century.
What does a North American or South American farmer, grower or producer need to worry about? Well, pretty much everything, including climate change, conditions for the planting, growing and harvesting seasons, federal compliance and global competitors.
Global food security and effective production is the primary reason farmers gather at these events and is the most important topic at these conferences. With an ever growing global population, we need mechanized agriculture and advancements in new farm technology to secure food production. Today’s agro-technologies are complex, requiring collaboration among farmers, agronomists, engineers, and physicists. Most farm technology are adopted from other areas of scientific or technological use, and adapted for farmers, such as the adaptation of wind meters and drones to reach compliance goals. The technology varies substantially, ranging from invisible nanotechnology nutrients to enormous combine-harvesters to process food production.
Next time I go to the market, I will reflect, imagining the technology and science that went toward producing a soybean.