Computers improving the lives of farmers and ranchers across the globe

No one follows the weather more closely than the farmers and ranchers that put food on our tables. If you visit a farmer in the Midwest, chances are at some point their television will be turned to the Weather Channel and their computers will have a bookmark to access weather information.
During harvest season, farmers may have their entire year’s paycheck waiting to be harvested in the fields they so meticulously cultivated during the year. Imagine this scenario: A farmer has 100 acres of wheat to harvest, and their computers are saying they have 10 hours before a storm hits. By analyzing information from their computers, farmers have the choice to work all night, finish their harvest, and beat the impending rain.
Not only do farmers use computers, but also ranchers. Gone are the days when ranchers turned their cattle out in the spring, rounded them up in the fall and sold the calves without some statistical analysis of their herd. By analyzing birth weights of calves, and sale weight of calves, farmers are using their computers to maximize weight gain and sell their calves at the optimal weight and time.
As prices fluctuate on the world markets, farmers and ranches follow the every-changing markets of crops and cattle. Selling one’s cattle for 25 cents per pound more, adds up when the calf weighs 700 pounds. Selling wheat for $4.50 / bushel instead of $4.25 matters when the farmer is selling hundreds of thousands of bushels of product.
In addition to the practical uses of computers, farmers and ranchers often living in rural areas, use their computers to stay in contact with friends and families and alert their neighbors by E-mail when the cows are out. With advancements in wireless internet, these bastions of food technology can often be found toting their laptops into Walmart to keep track of inclement weather and ever-changing prices.

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