Precision Agriculture Technicians

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ABOUT PRECISION AGRICULTURE TECHNICIAN CAREERS
Video transcript

A geographic information system, or GIS, is a computer system that captures and stores data related to positions on the Earth's surface. It's used to create maps that reveal spatial relationships invaluable for planning and communications in areas such as agriculture, health care, retail trade, or military intelligence. GIS technicians, and geospatial information scientists and technologists, produce data layers, maps, graphs, and reports using GIS technology. They compile data from remote sensing devices and cartographic or global positioning system maps, and enter it into GIS databases. Data accuracy, currency, and quality are critical, so they must review the data carefully. With clean data, GIS professionals program computers, analyze the data, and develop software for GIS applications. Many GIS technicians, and geospatial information scientists and technologists conduct research of their own, or design research for clients to use in a wide range of projects, from identifying ideal locations for solar or wind energy installations, routing transportation to minimize energy consumption, to defining wildlife areas. They often work with teams, and guide analyses to target specific projects or problems. Workweeks are usually on a 40-hour standard schedule. Most jobs, though not all, require a bachelor's degree. It's not uncommon for people in the field to have a master's degree.

SNAPSHOT
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.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
MED
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Advise farmers on upgrading Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment to take advantage of newly installed advanced satellite technology.

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.

Participate in efforts to advance precision agriculture technology, such as developing advanced weed identification or automated spot spraying systems.

Identify areas in need of pesticide treatment by analyzing geospatial data to determine insect movement and damage patterns.

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.

Draw or read maps, such as soil, contour, or plat maps.

Compare crop yield maps with maps of soil test data, chemical application patterns, or other information to develop site-specific crop management plans.

Analyze data from harvester monitors to develop yield maps.

Recommend best crop varieties or seeding rates for specific field areas, based on analysis of geospatial data.

Identify spatial coordinates, using remote sensing and Global Positioning System (GPS) data.

MAIN 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.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Food Production Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Systems Analysis Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.