Technology and agriculture are becoming partners in growing more food, more efficiently. At least, that is what smart agriculture hopes to achieve. This type of ag-tech involves the automation of farm operations to improve yields, increase efficiency and save money. Semi-autonomous tractors, drones and robotic seeders are just a few examples of how automation has entered the world of farming.
Industrialized farms, such as those growing corn or soy or raising livestock, already depend heavily on technology to run operations. However, innovative tech is working to further advance around the world. The possible benefits include environmental, social and economic gains.
Smarter technology may reduce pesticide and water use, reducing the impact of farming on the environment. Additionally, automation may address labor shortages by utilizing artificial intelligence to seed, weed and harvest crops. Lastly, ag-tech may create more economic security for farmers by cutting back on inefficiency and waste.
Farming is an ancient practice, but it techniques are changing. Automation is revolutionizing not only how we grow food, but also how we process and distribute it. Smart technology can transform agriculture for the better.
As the average size of farms continues to grow, crops are becoming harder to manage daily. Keeping up with grazing cattle, let alone monitoring their health, becomes an exhausting task. Automation is advancing how farmers monitor their crops, whether it be grapes, cows, carrots or soybeans.
From choosing seeds to processing harvests, smart technology is involved in growing cash crops like corn and grain. One popular new technology includes autonomous precision seeding, which uses spatial mapping capabilities and robotics to analyze soil before crops are planted. This allows the farmer to more efficiently plan where crops will thrive, and map out the locations that work best.
Automation is also found on the tractors that harvest grain, the machinery found in grain handling facilities and the storage infrastructure that monitors temperature and humidity levels to ensure safe products.
When it comes to livestock management, smart farming technology can be used to monitor animal health and measure waste management. This is a huge issue in concentrated animal feedlot operations, known as CAFOs, where manure pits leach toxins into the soil and waterways. With more farmers utilizing smart farming, the environmental impact of these operations can be significantly lowered.
You can also have a look at: Why AgTech is important for small and mid-sized farms
Automation plays an important role in the field, and off it, too. Farm automation technology is not just limited to growing crops or managing livestock. In fact, some of the most innovative technologies are found further down the supply chain. For instance, new software automation is assisting growers in tracking resources and distribution patterns.
Automation may also make the food industry safer and hold it more accountable. Technology can track pesticide and water use, as well as fertilizer treatments. The ability to easily gather all this information in one place leads to more transparency in farming operations.
Agriculture is adapting to a growing human population and rapidly changing climate. The way we grow food is changing, and innovative technology is transforming the system globally. Farming automation can revolutionize not only how we grow food, but also how we distribute and store it. Ag-tech has de ability to make all parts of the supply chain more efficient.
While the use of drones and robotic seeders may seem futuristic, much of this technology is already employed on farms worldwide. Cattle are monitored from a smart-phone, and self-driving tractors process grain while responding to controls miles away. Automation may help us grow more food, more efficiently, and reduce the environmental impact of agriculture.