Explore the Future of Rural Business

We’re excited here at Rural System about all the new possibilities for the future of rural business! The modern farmer is breaking the mold with higher education and new technology- not to mention our farmer 10.0 could be a lady.

farmer 1.0 vs 10.0

Here’s what you need to know about the future of rural business in 2014:

  1. Mobile Apps for Agriculture: Where once they may have estimated, farmers can just pull out their smartphone or iPad to predict corn yield or calculate aphid infestations with mobile agriculture apps.
  2. Prescriptive Software: Rural System proposes prescriptive software, which would take multiple data inputs, analyze them spatially with GIS, and prescribe management actions for your farm. There’s data everywhere! Let’s use it efficiently.
  3. Precision Agriculture: Farmers can monitor grain yield on-the-go, create detailed GIS maps of soil conditions across their fields, and more with new precision agriculture technology.
  4. Diverse Crop Rotation: Chemical inputs like pesticides and synthetic fertilizers are expensive. In our explorations this year, we’ve found an alternative: greater diversity in crop rotation. If farmers put their corn and soybean crops on 3 and 4-year rotation systems including a grain such as oat or alfalfa, they will not have as much trouble with insects and weeds. Adding livestock to the operation would provide ready fertilizer as well.
  5. The Farm Redefined: The farm doesn’t have to be restricted to crops alone. Future farms could have a multitude of enterprises, capitalizing on different aspects of the land. We propose viewing the land as a versatile “enterprise environment,” addressing cropland, forests, and ponds.

There’s much to be excited about in agriculture today! Join the discussion at the Forum for the Future of Rural Business.

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About Laurel Sindewald

Laurel is an alumna of Warren Wilson College with a BS in Conservation Biology and a BA in Philosophy. She is a writer for Rural System, Inc.

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