Agricultural and modern farms operate far differently, unlike several decades ago. Every farming procedure needs to be done manually by applying water, pesticides, and fertilizers. Aside from these things, farmers have been facing newer challenges every year, from shortages in labor, rising expenses in farming supplies, and changing consumer preferences for sustainability and transparency.
But the dawn of agricultural technology made it easier for farmers to attain better harvests and maximize productivity while maintaining economic and environmental efficiency. Today’s agricultural practices are slowly adapting to modern technologies, such as GPS technology, hydroponic container farm, moisture and temperature sensors, and robotic farming systems.
The development of farming technologies is a critical step to ensure the growth of many farmers’ future generations without compromising their outputs and environmental needs. If you are planning to invest in agricultural technologies, we will take a look at some of the latest innovations in farming practices and technologies that are now changing the face of agriculture.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
The rise of digital farming and other related agricultural technologies paved the way for bigger data opportunities. From UAVs, satellites, and remote sensors, these advanced systems can collect data 24 hours each day for an entire field. They can also monitor soil condition, humidity, temperature, and plant health. A single sensor can generate large amounts of information containing significant numbers that will help farmers improve their harvests.
The role of AI is to help farmers develop a wider understanding of farming situations while on the ground. Advanced technologies, such as remote sensing, provide information to farmers about situations they cannot spot with their bare eye. These technologies will not only provide accurate information, but they can also process data quickly than just simply driving or walking around the farm fields.
Remote sensors use algorithms to understand the field ecosystem using statistical data. The algorithm will process the data while learning and adapting to the information received. In turn, farmers will use the data for better decision-making. The more statistical data and inputs gathered, the more efficient the algorithm will become when predicting probable outcomes. As a result, farmers can use AI to realize their goals in yielding better harvest and making better farming decisions.
Ever since the beginning of farming, the struggle between birds and farmers has been endless. According to a study by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, farmers lose 20 to 40% of global crop production to pests. In fact, invasive insects cost the world economy around $70 billion. As a result, governments and farmers continue to grapple with eliminating highly destructive diseases and pets.
Farmers have tried plenty of techniques to improve pest control. From propane cannons to traditional scarecrows, none of these things effectively outwit forces of nature. But a recent discovery from the University of Rhode Island found a way to keep those birds away from the field.
The laser scarecrow uses a green laser, which is not visible to humans during the day. The invention proved to be effective since birds are sensitive to the color green. The automated laser can reach far across the field at more than 600 feet using green lighting that can startle birds and prevent them from injuring the crops. What’s great about this technology is that it is not labor-intensive than just using netting and is less destructive to the environment.
Researchers have introduced different models of laser scarecrow technology. One example is the solar-powered scarecrow with an auto-targeting system. In fact, pest control companies have tried this technology and claimed that it could prevent over 90% of crop losses. Not only is it highly effective, but the laser scarecrow uses a silent tactic that won’t disturb surrounding neighbors.
Upon hearing the word “blockchain,” the first two things that will probably come into your mind are financial transactions and cryptocurrency. But the concept of blockchain is no longer limited to the finance world; even agriculture is learning to incorporate this new technology uniquely.
The early blockchain systems used in farming were concerned with traceability and supply chains. From harvesting to delivery, blockchain technologies allow farmers to record and update crop status. Large agricultural operations are the ones who greatly benefit from this system, as they provide a highly accurate and secure ledger while making sure nothing goes missing when in transit. Because of this, farmers can easily trace their crops in real-time.
Blockchain applications are also useful in resource management, such as maintaining records in machinery and tracking equipment and sensors.
Developments in agricultural technologies are moving towards the future at incredible speed. Whether big or small, these innovations have helped farmers in every agricultural endeavor, from increasing productivity, streamlining farm management, and optimizing inputs. Until then, we will look forward to newer technologies to accelerate the growth of agricultural industries.