The Changing Face Of Agriculture: From sharecropping to Drones

Ag Week, by Jonathan Knutson

Paulo Flores, asked about his background, says he grew up in Brazil in a poor family that raised crops on shares. He talks of earning a doctorate in soil science in Brazil, eventually coming to the United States to pursue his career. He pauses for a moment, as if he’s reluctant to say more, and then adds, “My family (back in Brazil) really doesn’t understand what I do. They don’t know what the Ph.D degree means.” Today, Paulo Flores’ career is soaring. He’s a precision agriculture specialist with North Dakota State University’s Carrington Research Extension Center, where he work with drones and other precision ag tools. Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, have been one of the hottest topics in Upper Midwest ag. “I’ve always been interested in using computers in agriculture, and that’s basically what’s involved in precision ag,” he says.

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