Precision Agriculture Technicians

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Agronomist
  • Agronomy Consultant
  • County Extension Agent
  • Crop Specialist
  • Extension Precision Agriculture Specialist
  • GPS Field Data Collector (Global Positioning System Field Data Collector)
  • Nutrient Management Specialist
  • Precision Agriculture Department Manager
  • Precision Agriculture Specialist
  • Precision Agriculture Technician

What They Do

  • Provide advice on the development or application of better boomspray technology to limit the overapplication of chemicals and to reduce the migration of chemicals to areas other than the fields being treated.
  • Participate in efforts to advance precision agriculture technology, such as developing advanced weed identification or automated spot spraying systems.
  • Apply precision agriculture information to specifically reduce the negative environmental impacts of farming practices.
  • Advise farmers on upgrading Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment to take advantage of newly installed advanced satellite technology.
  • Contact equipment manufacturers for technical assistance, as needed.
  • Identify areas in need of pesticide treatment by analyzing geospatial data to determine insect movement and damage patterns.
  • Install, calibrate, or maintain sensors, mechanical controls, GPS-based vehicle guidance systems, or computer settings.
  • Prepare reports summarizing field productivity and profitability in graphical or tabular form.
  • Identify spatial coordinates, using remote sensing and Global Positioning System (GPS) data.
  • Analyze remote sensing imagery to identify relationships between soil quality, crop canopy densities, light reflectance, and weather history.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RIC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Investigative and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Working Conditions, but also value Independence and Achievement in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • 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.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • 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.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Education Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

LMI Region

Wages

In 2012, the average annual wage in New Jersey was $47,760 with most people making between $31,660 and $69,430

Outlook

During 2008, this occupation employed approximately 1,450 people in New Jersey. It is projected that there will be 1,500 employed in 2018.

This occupation will have approximately 70 job openings annually.