There’s good news this year: U.S. farm exports will rise to $142 billion, a new record. This should spell more profits in the hands of ranchers and farmers.

Upturns in the market are a perfect time to think about ways to become more productive, says John Ikerd, writing a paper titled “Financial Management on New Farms” for the University of Missouri.

“It’s fairly easy for a conventional farmer to borrow money for new ventures, such as expanding acreages of cropland or building a new confinement livestock facility,” Ikerd writes. “This is particularly true during time of profitable commodity prices.”

Every farmer knows a new combine or a new plat of land could make the operation more efficient. But there are also new pieces of technology that can improve everyday farming operations.

A good example are the GPS devices now being used by farmers to sow and fertilize. According to a Clemson University article in the Southeast Farm Press, benefits of these satellite-guided devices include “reduced skips and overlaps, the ability to operate in conditions of poor visibility, keeping implements in the same traffic patterns year-to-year (controlled traffic), extending hours of operation, allowing the use of low-skilled tractor drivers, increased yield, energy and time savings, increased application accuracy, and enhanced operation safety.”

The cost of these devices ranges from $6,000 to $25,000, according to the Virginia Cooperative Extension. But that cost should quickly be offset by increased productivity and, hopefully, better yield from crops that are sown and fertilized more accurately.

Paying for this equipment isn’t difficult with the AgAmerica conventional real estate loans from Bankers South. When using ag lending loans to buy or upgrade new farm equipment, consider that the low interest rates could be offset by the increased yields and productivity.

Once again, it’s good to be a farmer. And by upgrading with high-tech equipment, farmers and ranchers can be sure it will be for many years to come.