"In so many respects, the farming life may never change," Natoli wrote. "Farmers get their hands dirty, work their fingers until they swell and then work some more. They get around their fields in pickups, working an industry with notoriously narrow profit margins." But today's farms are "driven by technology that raises yields, limits runoff and adjusts to changing weather, pests and commodity prices," and such agriculture is known as "precision farming."
Bonk's seeds are genetically modified to resist drought and pests, and his fertilizer is rationed by sensors and software. His biotechnology and agriculture-systems degree from Iowa State University helps him make the most of such technology, and "The reward is handsome," Natoli wrote. The technology "results in higher yields, less waste, higher profits, less environmental impact, higher growth and a priceless perk: less time away from the family." (Read more)