You don’t tend to think of technology when I say farming. However, these days farmers can use all the good news they can get. Between tariffs, taxes and weather issues, they face daily challenges. When it comes to technology, there might be some great news. Salon brought this interesting news to our attention in their article, “Open source technology could be a boon to farmers.”

Small-scale farmers turn to each other when they need low-cost tech to stay organized as they plant dozens of varieties of vegetables each season and seek to consistently fill their community-supported agriculture boxes. This crowdsourcing and sharing of technology enables their collective to reap the harvest (bad pun?) of a single tech purchase.

There is an abundance of tech available that can solve any problem a farmer may have, but the upfront costs and ongoing subscription fees are a significant challenge. Pre-programmed, customizable spreadsheets can guide them through seed purchases and planting and harvesting schedules. The spreadsheets are free, hacked together and open source, kind-of.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.