Precision agriculture is a relatively new term, but already it is getting used in perhaps a much broader context than originally intended, according to longtime Salinas, Calif., agriculture engineer John Inman.

“I prefer to call the new GPS/GIS technology coming on line as part of the move to ‘intelligent agriculture,’” said Inman, retired University of California Cooperative Extension agriculture engineer farm advisor for Monterey County.

As part of this year's Salinas Valley Farm Show, Inman and Gonzales Young Farmers farm show chairman Don Ostini have put together a morning seminar at farm show headquarters, the Salinas Community Center, to talk about the latest in this new technology of using satellites and aerial imagery to give farmers more tools to do a better job.

The seminar begins at 9 a.m. and will feature presentations from:

  • AutoFarm on its new GPS land leveling technology.

  • Beeline on tractor guidance system and variable rate technology.

  • Kevin Spry, Airtime Aviation, San Luis Obispo, Calif. Spry is a pioneer and innovator in aerial crop analysis.

“A lot of people are interested in this new technology and some are dabbling in it,” said Inman.

“While it is interesting stuff, it must pay for itself for farmers to use it commercially,” he said.

“Cost-benefit is one of the key issues we hope to address in the seminar this year,” said Inman.