Five Tech Advances in Agriculture in 2020
By Space Coast Daily // May 29, 2020
Like most sectors of the modern economy, agriculture is going digital. Stakeholders have plenty to look forward to since many of the innovative new solutions on the market this year promise increases in productivity, sustainability, and scalability for farms and grow operations of all sizes.
Other positive advances are simple things such as sustainable and eco-friendly animal feed and fertilizer sacks which can make a big difference to the environment globally.
Read on to find out about five of the most important tech advances in agriculture in 2020.
Smart sensors have already seen plenty of attention in fields like manufacturing and medicine, but now they have become cost-effective enough to become a benefit to agricultural operations.
Some sensors use drones to detect dry patches or areas of nutrient deficiency from the sky, while others monitor moisture levels, soil density, and other aspects of plant health.
Sensors are seeing increased popularity in both large-scale outdoor agriculture and smaller indoor hydroponic systems. Those who want to learn more about hydroponics can check out Agron for additional information.
Farming as a Service
Most modern business owners and consumers have already heard plenty about Software as a Service (SaaS) in recent years.
Now, this concept has been brought to bear on modern agriculture with Farming as a Service (FaaS). This system, often put forth by startups, is essentially a pay-per-use farming service that converts fixed upfront costs into ongoing, variable costs so that both landowners and farmers can make informed, data-driven decisions about productivity even when they are operating on tight margins.
Although self-driving cars are still years away from presenting a feasible option for market consumers, self-driving tractors are much less risky.
There are no pedestrians or other vehicles for designers to worry about, and software engineers can use geo-fencing to keep them on-course.
Farmers looking to automate their labor to cut costs and scale up production should keep an eye on this emerging trend.
Soil DNA Tests
DNA testing isn’t new, but its move to agriculture is. Farmers can now use DNA testing to evaluate everything from organic matter to soil microbiomes and aggregate data used for soil health metrics.
Some DNA testing companies specialize in testing insects, nematodes, and pathogens present in the soil to predict crop damage, while others offer an overview of soil health. All of them present a valuable resource to modern farmers.
Digital Farm Auctions and Rentals
Just like Airbnb changed the way travelers think about vacation rentals, modern farmland and farm equipment websites are beginning to change the way that farmers and landowners think about land use.
The Internet makes it easy to connect with others in the industry to buy and sell equipment at auction, lease land, find partners, and more, and as the next generations of farmers are beginning to take over more operations, they’re taking advantage of all the convenience and precision offered by digital auctions and rentals.
One great thing about digital land leases and equipment rentals is that they make it easy for farmers to compile data about land or equipment use and share it with landowners or equipment owners. This helps farmers build reputations as responsible stewards and keeps landowners informed. As more aspects of modern life move online, expect to see more transparency in the agricultural field.
The Bottom Line
The population of the planet is growing every day, and modern farmers are stepping up to the plate to feed that growing population.
They are leveraging the power of technology to increase yields, automate operations, network with others, and provide greater levels of transparency and land stewardship. Farmers can look forward to more of these trends in the future.
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