Digital Technology: What It Means for the Future of Agriculture

Modern-day farming and agriculture are no longer a reminder of the laborious sweat-intensive fieldwork or the long growth time. With the progress of agricultural practices, food production has improved significantly in recent years, with outstanding examples of contemporary farming and many more.

In this article, we’ll look at the latest agricultural technology trends that have helped to improve farmers’ lives and worldwide food production.

Agriculture Statistics

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), crop production has increased by 50% in ten years. At the same time, the global population will likely top 9.3 billion by 2050, meaning that food to feed people would need to be grown in more significant quantities. On the charts of ‘Rise in Hunger,’ 60 million more people are undernourished throughout the world. This is an important issue for farmers.

People are surviving a barely nutritious existence, especially in Asia and Africa. Even though Agriculture’s share in global GDP has increased by 68 percent, it has remained at around 4% since 2000, despite a growing population.

Continuing the Agricultural Revolution

Farmers throughout the world today are using modern technologies to enhance their farming productivity and achieve higher yields. Lance Donny, a new technology agriculture leader, believes that we need to increase crop yields with limited land, water, and nutrients.

Farm technology and equipment continually improve to make farming more efficient, environmentally responsible, and profitable. Drones for crop monitoring, livestock measuring sensors, farm management software, driverless tractors, and many other cutting-edge farming tools and technologies.

In the  Indiana, agricultural loans help farmers use of these new technologies. These new technologies are still in their early adoption phase and are expensive. In time, the new equipment costs are expected to become more affordable, leading to broader adoption.

IoT in Agriculture

This digital trend evolves from a small-scale market into a potentially disruptive force. According to the IDC report, 200 billion connected devices were on factory floors and in customer premises. In agriculture, machine-to-machine (M2M) connections are as crucial as IoT as they link things such as sensors and wireless communications technologies with control systems.

The most significant benefit of IoT is collecting, capturing, and analyzing data from remote devices in an industrial facility.

IBM predicts that by 2020 there will be 38 billion connected devices which include wearable technology, smart homes, etc. Experts believe that the agricultural sector will see significant changes with IoT in the next decade, considering this growth rate.

Geographic Information System (GIS) in Agriculture

Geographic Information System (GIS) is an industry-level technology that agricultural professionals can monitor, manage, and analyze information on land resources.

Experts believe that the next step in the future of farming would include more precise GPS guidance for automated tractors and drones monitoring crops with geospatial data collection. With GIS tools, the amount of data that researchers can collect is considerable, making it easier for farmers to analyze and generate valuable insights.

AI/ML  & Data Science in Agriculture Technology

While GIS is an industry-level technology, the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in agriculture is one area that can transform farming.

These technologies will result in better decision-making on soil quality, water usage, pest infestation, growth stage prediction, weather conditions, etc.

The challenge for most farmers is to keep up with the ever-changing weather conditions and pests and diseases.

Data science can help farmers understand the data they are collecting, turn it into insights, and then use those insights to make better decisions.

In conclusion, digital technology has brought about many changes in the agricultural sector. With new tools and technologies, farmers produce more food with fewer resources.

However, there is still a long way to go to solve the issue of global hunger. New technologies have created a better understanding of farming practices, but more food is needed with existing resources.

Blockchain in Agriculture

Another technology that is starting to impact the agricultural sector is blockchain. Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that can securely track and share information between two or more parties.

The use of blockchain in agriculture can help to improve food tracking, quality assurance, and fraud prevention.

For example, Walmart uses blockchain to improve food tracking from farm to store.

Blockchain can also be used in digital trading platforms where farmers and buyers/sellers connect directly without a middleman. The use of smart contracts can also help reduce transaction costs, increase productivity, and automate manual tasks.

Automation

The use of digital technology has also led to the widespread use of automation in agriculture. Automation uses machines and robots to perform tasks usually done by humans. Automation can be used for planting, watering, harvesting, and milking tasks.

Robots are increasingly being used for weeding, pruning, and pesticide spraying tasks. The use of automation can help farmers to reduce labor costs, improve efficiency, and increase productivity.

Digital technology has brought about many changes in the agricultural sector. With new tools and technologies, farmers produce more food with fewer resources.

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