Farming Technology and History

More people are being fed than ever before because of the advances in farming technology in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries. In 1930, one farmer’s work could feed 9.8 people for an entire year. Today, that figure has grown exponentially to 155 people. How are farmers doing it? With technology.


a diagram showing the growth in the number of people farmers feed per year. a farmer fed 9 people in 1930 and a 155 people today


Precision Agriculture

The same technology that helps you navigate your car has had an even larger effect on farming. In the 1990s, farmers began to use the Global Positioning System (GPS), a network of 24 satellites that orbit our planet. Using GPS technology, a farmer can know exactly where they are in the field. By mapping out the nutritional, water, herbicide, fungicide and pesticide needs of different areas of their fields, they can target each section with just the right amount of whatever it needs. GPS technology makes sure their equipment is in the right places to do this. The results are better yields, safer foods, and less environmental impact, because the farmer only has to spend the most time in the areas of their fields that need the most help.

yellow box that reads with four or more satellites in view, the receiver can determine the tractor or combine latitude, longitude, and even altitude. this tells the farmer, within inches, where they are in the field

list of how farmer use gps for precision farming. this includes guiding their tractor, mapping their fields, taking soil tests, controlling planting rate, and measuring yield

yellow box that reads gps allows farmers to work more efficiently and precisely. fewer rounds in the tractor and less applications reduce the impact on the environment and ensure healthy land for generations to come

Farmers use a GPS technology called Auto-steer. Listen to one of our Glass Barn farmers, Joe Steinkamp, explain how it works and its benefits.

How has precision farming practices, like GPS, helped you on your farm?

multiple touch screens in tractors today help farmers be more efficient

How does Technology allow you to take better care of your animals?

a brown haired woman wearing black jacket in front of trees

Why do you raise your pigs indoors?

an indiana farmers wearing light green shirt in front of her family farm

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