Delmarva Farmers Using High-Tech Equipment to Get the Job Done - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delmarva Farmers Using High-Tech Equipment to Get the Job Done

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Today's farm tractors are equipped with a variety of high-tech equipment, such as auto steer. (Photo: WBOC) Today's farm tractors are equipped with a variety of high-tech equipment, such as auto steer. (Photo: WBOC)

CORDOVA, Md.- Tuesday, March 21 is National Agriculture Day. And with this being the first week of spring, it's the time of year when farmers across Delmarva get down to business. And these days, many farmers are turning to high-tech equipment to get their jobs done.

The Hutchison farm in the Talbot County, Md. community of Cordova is one such farm that is taking advantage of ever-changing and evolving technology, from features that make driving the big combines a little easier to sensors that help increase the yield for crops.

Co-owner Travis Hutchison has been tending to his family's barley fields for about a dozen years. He said in that time he has seen plenty of changes, not only in environmental standards for his farm, but changes to the way he farms and the equipment he uses, such as a tractor. 

"This tractor is equipped with auto steer," Travis said. "There's a satellite receiver right up there - and in the field - you set an A-B line and when it gets to the end of the field, you just grab the steering wheel and turn it about three quarters of the way around - hit a resume button and its on the path."    

When it comes to the farm's irrigation system, Travis said he used to have to get up in the middle of the night to make sure the machines were still moving. Now he gets a text alert on his phone if something stops working, allowing him to stay in bed while the machines are running.

And then there are sensors called green seekers, which can work to ensure the barley crop or whatever crop the Hutchison's are working on gets the attention it needs.

"As it goes across the field, every second it takes a reading and if the plants are a little thinner there, it will put more fertilizer out," Travis said. "If they're lush, it will cut it back and it won't put as much out."    

With so many advancements on the farm, Travis believes the technology helps catch the eye and attention of a younger generation of potentially future farmers.

"Teasing my cousin, one of our kids needs to go to school to become a computer geek so they can come back and teach us to run the computers in these tractors," Travis said. "Yes, the younger you are, the more you enjoy the technology part of it."

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