Precision Agriculture Technician Career

Job Description: Apply geospatial technologies, including geographic information systems (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS), to agricultural production or management activities, such as pest scouting, site-specific pesticide application, yield mapping, or variable-rate irrigation. May use computers to develop or analyze maps or remote sensing images to compare physical topography with data on soils, fertilizer, pests, or weather.


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Precision Agriculture Technician Career

What Precision Agriculture Technicians do:

  • Analyze data from harvester monitors to develop yield maps.
  • Analyze geospatial data to determine agricultural implications of factors such as soil quality, terrain, field productivity, fertilizers, or weather conditions.
  • Collect information about soil or field attributes, yield data, or field boundaries, using field data recorders and basic geographic information systems (GIS).
  • Compare crop yield maps with maps of soil test data, chemical application patterns, or other information to develop site-specific crop management plans.
  • Contact equipment manufacturers for technical assistance, as needed.
  • Demonstrate the applications of geospatial technology, such as Global Positioning System (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), automatic tractor guidance systems, variable rate chemical input applicators, surveying equipment, or computer mapping software.
  • Use geospatial technology to develop soil sampling grids or identify sampling sites for testing characteristics such as nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium content, pH, or micronutrients.
  • Advise farmers on upgrading Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment to take advantage of newly installed advanced satellite technology.
  • Apply precision agriculture information to specifically reduce the negative environmental impacts of farming practices.
  • Create, layer, and analyze maps showing precision agricultural data, such as crop yields, soil characteristics, input applications, terrain, drainage patterns, or field management history.
  • Divide agricultural fields into georeferenced zones, based on soil characteristics and production potentials.
  • Document and maintain records of precision agriculture information.
  • Draw or read maps, such as soil, contour, or plat maps.
  • Prepare reports in graphical or tabular form, summarizing field productivity or profitability.
  • Identify spatial coordinates, using remote sensing and Global Positioning System (GPS) data.
  • Program farm equipment, such as variable-rate planting equipment or pesticide sprayers, based on input from crop scouting and analysis of field condition variability.
  • Recommend best crop varieties or seeding rates for specific field areas, based on analysis of geospatial data.
  • Analyze remote sensing imagery to identify relationships between soil quality, crop canopy densities, light reflectance, and weather history.
  • Install, calibrate, or maintain sensors, mechanical controls, GPS-based vehicle guidance systems, or computer settings.
  • Participate in efforts to advance precision agriculture technology, such as developing advanced weed identification or automated spot spraying systems.
  • Provide advice on the development or application of better boom-spray technology to limit the overapplication of chemicals and to reduce the migration of chemicals beyond the fields being treated.
  • Identify areas in need of pesticide treatment by analyzing geospatial data to determine insect movement and damage patterns.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment - Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment - Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Holland Code Chart for a Precision Agriculture Technician

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