Senwes Scenario Junie / Julie 2015 - Page 15

KO L L IG ••• ASHLEY AND JACKY WHITFIELD to the climatic conditions and natural resources available to South African farmers. “He’s absolutely right,” says Ashley. “We’re farming in the desert here compared to the rest of the world.” So how do you manage to remain profitable and still bring home the bacon I ask. “We do precision farming. 12 years of yield mapping has enabled us to keep yield records using SMS Advance technology. We stay on the cutting edge of the precision farming game with variable rating pre-plant fertiliser, seed, plant mixtures and side dressings. We’re at a juncture now where there is a lot of information available. Companies like Omnia are growing together with the farmer and are assisting us by coming up with practical models using this information. We need applications now which will filter all of this information and make sense out of it to provide real time solutions to particular challenges on the land.” Ashley is talking to me while, firing up a second computer next to the Mac. “Look, he points to a thermal image portrayal of a section of his land. “You see how the different hues of colour reflect the condition of the land? And this was last year’s... See? We are able to see the trends taking shape and we are able to counter any negative trends.” Just as what he is saying begins to make sense to me, he flips back to the big Mac screen. “Look here,” he commands. I see him operating his Mac as expertly as he would his Gyrocopter (more about KELLY DIAMOND HARROW IN ACTION SENWES Scenario • June/July 2015 13