When we went to the Hoobers it was really eye opening to see how much work goes into precision agriculture. And how much everything cost through equipment and how much things have changed for the good of farming. Between farmers and techs at hoobers where the tech can actually enter the computer from his office instead of riding out to the field. To see what’s wrong with it most of the time also they can fix certain things through the computer. What I enjoyed besides the driving the sprayer which I never drove before. Was walking through the mechanics shop and how much time and efforts they take in making sure everything is up to par before people by them from Hoobers. Also with the gps in the tractor and sprayer that we got to drive was cool you could press one button and hook on to the preset track and the auto steer would kick in and you didn’t have to touch the steering wheel.
This past Saturday the class took a field trip to Hoobers to see how much precision agriculture has truly impacted the industry. On the field trip my fellow classmates were able to see and experience how the use of GPS is used to work a field, auto steer technology, and drone technology. Although I was not able to actually attend, precision agriculture is something I a lot of experience with. Much of what was shown and talked about on the tour, I have actually been doing on my family’s farm for many years. Precision agriculture is something that still continues to amaze me every day.
One aspect of precision agriculture that I was able to work a lot with this summer, and that my classmates got to see, was the use of drone technology. This summer my family’s farm has really dove into the use of drones for crop health and scouting purposes. I got to see and actually fly drones over our fields and pretty accurately do stand counts, crop health indexes, and in general show problem areas in our fields that we would have never seen on foot. Seeing the information a drone can gather really gives farmers the opportunity to make the slightest change land management decisions to increase yield. For example, soil sampling specific sections of a field due to poor crop health during growth. Drones and many other aspects of precision agriculture shown on the Hoobers tour will continue to change the way we farm. Precision agriculture is something that still continues to amaze me every day and also is opening up so many new jobs for my generation.
During the lecture, I was very intrigued to see how technology and especially drones are incorporated into agriculture work. Watching the video about drone use in California just helped me understand the importance of emerging technology. It now only allows more efficiency and decrease the hard labor for workers and can give them more free time to work on any other important tasks. Not only are drones important but watching looking at GPS and how important it is to optimize returns and preserving resources. Farmers have to battle constant price increases and smaller profit margins and the only way to keep up and sustain a profit making farm, is to incorporate precision AG into their daily tasks. It not only helps them make more money, but it increases their quality of life, whether that be giving them more time to spend with family etc.
The picute above is my classmates and myself on one of the tractors we were able to opperate
Being able to understand todays agriculture and how we get our food from farms to markets is an unbelieveable experience. The technology we have today, helps us further agriculture along with being able to feed over seven billion people! One of the main ways that agriculture has become easier for farmers is GPS systems. WIth this power farmers are able to use drones to scope out either the issues that are in their crop so they can make adjustments for the next set of crops. While at Hoobers we got the opportunity to see two different drones. One of the drones had the power to fly over an hour and has differnt cameras to show drout in crops! The other drone was able to fly for about thirty minutes but was able to fly by the users phone. The technologyg used today is not only invested in drones; tractors have the capibility to have automatic stearing and can be positioned by satalites to keep in a very precise line and cause little to no errors with the spacing in the crops!Technology is beyong incredibe and will continue to grow and imrpove the world around us.
Our trip to Hoober opened my eyes to the direction agriculture will take for the next generation of farmers. The fact that a new combine without any additions costs roughly $400,000 is mind-blowing. It’s hard to imagine that a piece of farm equipment can cost more than a house; which shows the opportunities for monetary success in the field of agriculture. With many new tractors, combines, and sprayers already having built-in automatic steering, it will be nearly impossible to do any large scale farming in the future without incorporating Precision AG. The drone demonstration was extremely interesting, especially the ability of more expensive drones to track nutrients, plant stress, moisture, and other important pieces of data. The accident prevention feature of the drone was awesome to witness in person. I imagine in twenty years we will forget what it was like to drive a tractor manually or to scout a field on foot.
This Saturday we visited Hoober’s equipment company. Seeing their showroom, combines, tractors, and drones was very interesting. I was shocked to learn that one of their drones cost $10,000! The fixed wing drone could fly for about an hour, and take hundreds of different pictures of a farmer’s crop. I never knew exactly how much went into being successful at precision agriculture until I learned about all of the amazing technology that Hoobers can supply to their clients. Aside from using drones, they can outfit old and new farm vehicles with hi-tech devices like auto steering and numerous sensors. I also enjoyed seeing the garage where the mechanics worked on different combines, sprayers, and tractors. At the end of our field trip, we all got to drive a tractor and see what it is like. Even though it is a massive piece of equipment, it was surprisingly easy to maneuver and drive. Overall, I learned a lot and enjoyed our visit to Hoober’s.
This past Saturday field trip to Hoober’s was an eye opener into the equipment side of agriculture. It really put into perspective the amount of labor and money that goes into each machine. It did make me appreciate the investment each machine really is and I do agree with Mark that whenever I pass by a machine again I will know more about it and appreciate how much money and time that farmer actually has put into that machine. Of course with technology, it is not perfect but lucky for people that own Hoober equipment they have a great repair shop with specialized mechanics to handle specific pieces of equipment. When a machine has to be fixed that is time and money wasted on repairs for the farmer. Having someone who is specialized for one machine is great for fixing it in an efficient amount of time because they know what they are doing so the farmer can get right back to using it.
I learned about a couple pieces of equipment they had like the combine, sprayers, and planters that I had never been that close to before. The tires were taller than I was! The best part was being able to ride and drive one of the planters. It was a lot smoother than I thought it was going to be and it even had a radio and air conditioning. The amazing technology allowed you to pick a straight line and the machine would straighten itself out and go along that straight line for you. They even had drones that could look at the whole field of crops and tell which plants were not growing efficiently. Drones are great for raising the farmers’ crop yield. Precision Ag is changing constantly to help farmers grow even more crops and faster.
Hoober Inc. is a three-generation family-owned farm equipment company. With 9 locations in the Mid-Atlantic, Hoober Inc. is the region’s leader in precision farming. If there was one thing I took away from this awesome field trip it would be that technology is take the agricultural world by storm. Efficiency makes money, and when money is being made everyone is happy. For the farmers finding ways to collect data more efficiently is key. Drones are the perfect solution. You can set the drone’s route and they fly high above the farmer’s field while taking pictures so when it comes back down the farmer can see if there are any problems with his crops. Drones cut out a lot of time that the farmer would have to spend walking through his field looking for damage. Technology plays a significant role for companies like Hoober as well. When farmers come in to have their equipment worked on they expect it to be done quickly because the longer they have their equipment in the shop the more money they are losing. Technology and the specialists that work for Hoober allows there to be a quick, efficient turn around. Just like with any piece of technology, it doesn’t always cooperate so that is why Hoober incorporates specialists into their company. If a diagnostic tool break down, they can rely on a specialist to be able to figure out the problem faster than someone who has just a general knowledge of all the farm equipment. A job in precision agriculture doesn’t necessarily require a college degree but it does demand patience and common sense which may prove to be more difficult than acquiring a college degree.
On our class trip to Hoober’s, we learned how important technology is in agriculture and how that trend will continue to increase. They explained what precision ag entails and how much easier and efficient it has made farming. Hoobers biggest sellers for precision ag products are sprayers and retrofitting old planters with the newest technology, making it more economically viable. They explained how the always changing technology makes their job exciting, but also how keeping up with it is one of the biggest challenges. The burnout rate for working with precision ag was only 18 months! It was amazing to see how specialized the mechanics at Hoober’s were; they had combine mechanics, sprayer mechanics, planter mechanics, etc. and it made sense after seeing how many parts went with each piece of equipment. It was also interesting to see how advanced drones have become and how they have become a big part of agriculture. The trip really showed how essential it is to be computer competent if studying agriculture because that is unquestionably the future.
During our trips to Hoober’s Inc. many new things came to my knowledge about the use of precision agriculture in our country. When talking to the gentlemen who worked their, they were able to give us a tour of the shop where most repairs occur. Within the shop their are specific people who work on specific things, such as guys who may only focus on combines, where another guy may focus on just only tires. Also we were able to view the use of a drone, which was pretty amazing. The drone itself allows farmers to view their fields in just minutes, helping them before, during, and after the season. It allows farmers to diagnose problems as well as fix them. Finally the best part of the trip in my opinion was the experience of driving the tractor. Never driving one before really opened my eyes on the use and how a tractor could be so useful. I could really picture a future in this line of work
This past Saturday, I spent the day at Hoobers! I was able to look at different type of precision AG machinery, such as auto-steer, and seed squirters. Seed Squirters are a way to get water to a plant without over watering and limiting the amount of diseases. I was also able to take a look at different types of machinery such as sprayers, tractors, and quadtracs. I was extremely excited to get to drive the sprayer, and I was blown away at the amount of technology inside the cab. To see how big and expensive these machines are, is truly amazing. People underestimate how hard it is to be a farmer, and to see the type of technology that they use and how complex it is, is very eye-opening. I very much enjoyed my time at Hoobers and I hope I’ll be able to visit again.
The last field trip we went on was to Hoober Equipment. Honestly, I think this was the most interesting trip we have been on so far. I did not know most of the information given on Saturday, whereas at Fifer’s Orchards, I did, being a Plant Science Major.
We started out the tour by hearing about the history behind the company, and how the two employees got to where they are now. Their business is very important in the ag industry, and precision ag is a phenomenal thing. We walked around and saw a lot of different machines, and they were all so big! Of course we got to see their toy- a drone! That was amazing; being able to have the drone survey the field while you spend your time doing something else. Before we left, we all got the opportunity to drive a machine, and here I am doing it!
On October 7th, 2017, my classmates and I had the opportunity to tour Hoober Inc. and witness the advances in technology that has helped progress agriculture as a whole. While there, we learned that a huge event that allowed for such a jump in technology for farming was the publics authorization to use satellites for GPS. This allowed for automatic steering, drones, and a lot of other precision ag advancements to come along, making farming much more economical, timely, environmentally friendly and efficient. It was really interesting to see how production agriculture has changed throughout the years as technology advanced. Hoober sells new and used equipment so we were able to witness how tractors and combines progressed. Another service Hoober provides is upgrading old equipment to practically brand new, up-to-date machinery. They basically take the “bones” of a piece of equipment and modify, update and upgrade the systems and mechanics of it – this is often more economical than outright buying a brand new piece of machinery. I could really tell that Hoober’s was in business for the right reasons and to really help their customers. It was great to see such an honorable business model.
This field trip that allowed us to not only see (and drive) some of their equipment, but also gave an interesting insight into the ever-changing industry and how that affects them as a business and their relationships with their customers. Before this class and being educated more about the world of agriculture, I never thought that the equipment used was so high-tech and complex and expanded well beyond a simple tractor, which is what I have always pictured. It amazed me how up and coming precision Ag is for this industry and all the benefits it provides. One thing that stood out to me was how complex this equipment was. There are mechanics that specialize in a single piece of equipment because there is so much in-depth things to know about how it is ran. It amazed me how there was a huge toolbox that contained $40,000 worth of tools, but the most crucial and main tool for a mechanic is his computer. I had no idea you were able to plug in a computer to a tractor, planter, combine, ect. and get a diagnostic reading on it to find out what is wrong with it. This just shows the advanced complexity of one of these machines. This goes to show the reasoning behind the large price tags on a machine, which was way more than I ever would have guessed. These machines are such a huge investment for a farmer, such as a $400,000 combine complex, which enlightened me on the importance of such a great relationship that is needed between Hoober and their customers, since it does go well beyond just the purchase. Learning about the precision Ag details and benefits was excitingly informative, but driving a tractor was the best part of the trip! Not only were the machine way larger and more expensive than I would have guessed, but the technological enhancements that even I was able to notice during my quick drive was amazing. This field trip was very enjoyable, and like the others, showed another side of agriculture that I was not familiar with prior!
This past Saturday I was able to take a fascinating field trip to Hoobers with my Agricultural Class. It started with learning a little history about Hoobers and what precision ag really entails. We learned that the sprayer is one of their most promote and popular precision ag pieces sold. Speaking of the sprayer many of students were lucky enough to operate the piece of equipment including myself. While precision ag is a part of agriculture that will only get larger it does bring challenging aspects to the table such as data management and keeping up with all the new advancements in technology.
My favorite part of the trip was actually getting to see drones in action and learning about all the new advancements and ways to use drones in agriculture. It was interesting to hear that a license is actually required to operate these drones.
I believe precision ag will continue to get larger and advance. I also believe it will create many available careers in the future. Hoobers was overall a great experience and showed me a part of agricultural I did not realize was getting so large and in demand for the increasing population.