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The Often-Updated AgTech Marketer Terms To Know

Never spent a day on the farm and now you’re knee-deep in campaigns for FMS programs? Or maybe your boss is amped up on the future of tech in Agriculture 4.0 and they lost you at the first mention of nitrogen modeling? Not that we know what that’s like or anything…

Don’t sweat it — we’ve put together a cheat sheet. 

We’re covering the A-Z’s of general to more specific agtech marketing terms, and just like our original guide on Tech Marketer Terms, we’ll be updating this list as new terms roll in. If you’ve got any you’d like to submit, give us a shout in the form below. 

For now, grab one of those moleskin journals you’ve got laying around and jot a few of these down. You’ll be in good shape for your next presentation before you know it. 

Agronomy: While placing this definition here is technically alphabetically incorrect, it’s kind of essential you read this one before a bunch of the others. Anyway, it’s the science of crop production. 

Agronomic Data: When looking at agronomic data, you’re getting a birdseye view of soil conditions, average yield, and plant populations in an area. All of this data informs everything from environmental compliance and spraying decisions to regional pest and disease analytics. 

Agriculture 4.0: The evolution of internal and external farming operation networks as new technology emerges.

Automatic Section Control: This handy piece of tech turn application equipment off in the areas that have already been treated, at headland turns, point rows, terraces, and no-spray zones. 

Autonomous Operation: GPS-guided equipment? Wild, but hey, we’re in Agriculture 4.0. Driven by a series of sensors and GPS systems on-board allow equipment to continue without the need for human intervention and without damage to the crops. 

Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS): Taking the powers of Global Positioning System (GPS) and amplifying location accuracy, DGPSs aid farmers in precision farming (see below).

Digital Agriculture: When talking about digital agriculture, you’re looking at the mashup of big data, and the crop and livestock industries. This integration facilitates the sorting and analysis of the data collected in agriculture production, and informs future operational practices and strategies for efficiency.

Farming as a Service (FaaS): While the definition may appear obvious at first (well, it did to us), FaaS doesn’t refer to the act of farming and distributing goods. We’re looking at farm management solutions, production assistance, and access to market insights that farmers use through a subscription or pay-per-use basis. As increased internet speeds continue expanding into rural areas, these productivity and efficiency-boosting technologies are sure to experience explosive growth.

Farm Management Software (FMS): Okay, now this is a definition that is as obvious as it appears–we’re talkin’ software that helps farmers manage and optimize their operations. This software collects all kinds of insightful data from universal data sets that farmers can filter to their specific approach, and use to inform their decisions.

Field Profitability: Calling back to FMSs, some programs are able to create per-field yield analysis, which gives farmers more specific insights (Field Profitability) as opposed to sorting through whole-farm profit and loss analysis to find what they need.  

Geographic Information System (GIS): Imagine a system that collects, manages, and analyzes geographic data, and then turns them into map-like spatial representations called layers with all the aforementioned content stored in them. That’s GIS. It’s mostly used by farmers to adapt to different variables, monitor the health of their crops, estimate yield, and maximize their crop production.  

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT): So you know how the internet is this massive network that connects computers all over the world? Well, the (IIoT) is the interconnection of physical machinery with networked sensors and software for the exchange of valuable insights. For farmers, these sensors collect data about soil and weather conditions, aiding in their decisions surrounding fertilizing schedules and irrigating.

Lightbar: Lightbars are a piece of equipment that pair up with in-equipment GPS to keep drivers on course to improve fertilizer application and planting accuracy – keeping accidental skips and overlaps at bay. 

Mass Flow Sensor: This sensor measures grain flow, aka, how much and how quickly grain is entering the combine. 

Moisture Sensor: We bet you guessed this one, too. Moisture sensors measure the amount of moisture in the yield monitoring system.

Nitrogen Modeling: In the age of agriculture 4.0, farmers can use programs like nitrogen modeling to take multiple variables – crops and zones, growing seasons, weather events, and more – to simulate various environments, and create very specific soil treatment plans.  

Precision Agriculture: Sometimes called smart farming, precision agriculture is a farming management concept that’s based on observing, measuring and responding to the lack of consistency in crop performance. With a range of technologies at hand and the IIoT (see above), farmers can turn to the data to inform their crop production input operations. 

Rate Controller: This handy device adjusts the amount of chemical treatments and plant nutrients applied in a given area to specific conditions. 

Remote Sensing: Remote sensing can be as simple as looking out of the window and observing the color of the leaves, to satellite images and radar sensing that identify nutrient deficiencies, herbicide damage, plant populations, and more.

Sensor Technologies: By measuring Normalized Difference Vegetative Index (NDVI) – this is basically the health or “greeness” of a crop – these sensors can measure crop status on the go. 

Sustainable Intensification: When a client mentions their product is designed for sustainable intensification, they’re referring to farming that focuses on increasing production while preserving biodiversity and minimizing damage to the land and environment for future crops.

Terrain Compensation: Have you ever thought about farm equipment doing its thing across plains of rolling hills? Neither have we, really, but it turns out terrain compensation features can be added to auto-guidance systems to take them on. Basically, they correct position errors along the way. 

Thermal Infrared (TIR): Imagery that illustrates measured radiation from the crop and soil surface.

Total Factor Productivity (TFP): By taking into account all of the resources – land, labor, capital and material – utilized in farming production, and then comparing them with the total crop output, you can reach the TFP. 

Variable Rate Application (VRA): Rate of crop input – such as seed, fertilizer, lime or pesticides – applied to a field to match current conditions.

Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI): An emerging piece of technology, VRI is used simultaneously with center pivot irrigation systems.

Variable Rate Technology (VRT): Tools that use an application guidance map to direct and adjust the VRA (see above) of crop input – such as seed, fertilizer, lime or pesticides – applied to an area in response to changing conditions. 

Yield Maps: Data maps are created during harvest via a combine yield monitor (definition below) using GPS to collect georeferenced data on crop yield and characteristics, such as moisture content. Various sensors are used in mapping crop yields and each map is tagged with latitude and longitude coordinates.
Yield Monitor: A yield-measuring device installed on harvest machines. Yield monitors measure grain flow, grain moisture, and other parameters for real-time information relating to field productivity.

What’s next?

What you choose to do with this newfound knowledge is totally up to you, but we do hope you feel prepared to bust out some of these terms during your next campaign presentation. Heck, take them for a spin at your next team happy hour – people love hearing miscellaneous information. 

If you’ve got any new terms to submit, we’d love to see them. You can give us a shout in the form below, and keep an eye out for future terms to know.
Oh, what’s that? We missed one? We’d love for you to shoot us a note. We’ll get it added.


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