Technology has permeated every level of society, and the farming industry is no exception. In recent years, AgriTech has introduced drones, self-driving tractors, moisture sensors and more to the agricultural sector. This new tech has made the process of growing food more efficient and productive, which is important if we are to feed 9.7 billion people by 2050.
Today’s farms are using a mix of data, hardware, software and analysis to sharpen their techniques and maximize their efforts. Software, in particular, has gained some serious attention for its ability to help farmers monitor livestock and crops, allowing them to produce a greater yield at harvest time. Sensors of all types — from wearables on cows to in-field water monitors — are being deployed all over the globe. And farmers are using this software to build a more tech-savvy version of the farm.
Customized Water Application
Agriculture is one of the greatest users of water, accounting for 70% of all freshwater withdrawals. And, since water is scarce, farmers must begin to use it more wisely. Agricultural software can help farmers do this by giving them information about soil and air moisture, which is collected by sensors. This allows them to determine when, how much and for how long they should water their crops without wasting water. One farmers’ association from Portugal even managed to save 32% in water and energy using a system called Agroop, while increasing its net yield by 12.6%. The farm’s potatoes were even better quality!
Ultimately, water monitoring software allows for optimized crops. But many other farming softwares also help farmers engineer better crops. For instance, GPS technology on tractors and other equipment help farmers map their fields, sample soil and crop scout. It also allows them to work in bad weather conditions with low visibility. Self-driving tractors also use the latest software to navigate their way across fields in a route pre-programmed by the farmer. This way, they can drive hands-free, making slight adjustments, and manage other aspects of the business from the tractor cab.
An effective farm management software will also alert farmers of impending risks. This may include shifting weather conditions, pests, diseases or dry or overly watered soil. In particular, farmers may want to use software to measure soil temperature and moisture to help conserve water and irrigate only when their crops need it.
Software for Sustainability
However, new AgTech software isn’t just about efficiency. It’s about sustainability. Although upfront capital investment may be off-putting for some farmers, those who choose to embrace and invest in the software will reap the rewards. By adopting more efficient techniques and using technology to their benefit, farmers can establish methods of growing food for hundreds of years to come. This, ultimately, is the main goal of agtech software — to make farming sustainable for future generations. Luckily, some newer software, like the ones listed below, are helping to make this possible.
You can also have a look: 4 Tips for Choosing the Right AgTech Solution
Farming for the Future
While our current methods of farming may have gotten us this far, they simply aren’t sustainable for the planet, individual or society in the long-term. Fortunately, AgTech software and emerging innovations in the farming industry are helping to solve this problem. Already, these solutions are playing a role to reduce loss and overhead while adding more predictability, profit and yield. By implementing these new strategies and software, farmers can help ensure the agricultural industry is sustainable enough to feed many generations to come.