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Precision Agriculture Specialist

Position Overview

Precision agriculture specialists provide growers with technical support for precision technologies used on the farm. Precision agriculture includes the use of GPS and GIS technologies to manage grower activities, which are used to optimize production and conserve resources. These technologies help with data comparisons for topographical information, pests, fertilizer, and weather. Precision agriculture specialists may develop yield maps, as well as analyze geospatial information to understand the agricultural implications, including field productivity, soil quality, and terrain. From all this data collected, these specialists will develop crop management plans that are targeted for a specific grower's needs. Precision agriculture specialists should be able to read and design maps and program farm equipment for pesticide sprayers, planting machinery, etc. They provide many different recommendations to farmers, especially regarding the optimal seeding rates and crop varieties to use for different fields. These specialists should be familiar with technology and can troubleshoot when problems arise.

Precision Agriculture Specialist Duties

  • Develop a variety of recommendation, information, and seeding maps with GPS
  • Plan variable rate application for different materials based on specific location or area qualities
  • Help local producers with precision agriculture marketing
  • Develop crop management plans for growers, giving accurate recommendations and implementation techniques
  • Provide technical services related to precision agriculture, such as calibrating and installing equipment
  • Train others on precision agriculture technology
  • Provide fungicide and seeding recommendations
  • Participate in, and help plan a grower's business strategies

Typical Employers

  • Precision equipment providers
  • Agriculture retailers
  • Universities

Required Education and Training

Precision agriculture specialists should have a bachelor's degree in either agricultural business, agronomy, or engineering. Depending on the company, other certifications may be required. Due to the nature of the job, individuals in this position should be familiar with, and have a genuine interest in the agriculture industry.

Key Skills and Qualities

  • Ability to troubleshoot and make smart decisions
  • Ability to analyze and breakdown various types of information
  • Accurate recording and data collection skills
  • Organised
  • Excellent communicator
  • Ability to build and develop strong professional relationships
  • Can confidently provide advice and guidance to others
  • Ability to operate large machinery
  • Competent with technology
  • Can control and mange processes effectively

Average Salary

The average salary for a precision agriculture specialist is £37,000. Senior specialists may make upwards of £60,000, depending on the company and the benefits package offered.