With the ever-increasing prevalence of farming technology, it is only a matter of time before we see technological advancements have a major impact on agricultural processes. And the change isn’t just around the corner. Many farmers are already taking advantage of technological-based agricultural techniques and robotics to maximize efficiency, increase crop yield, and therefore profits.
What’s Smart Technology?
The term “smart technology” is thrown around a lot, but what exactly does it mean? Smart technology is any system that combines computing capabilities with information and communications technologies to monitor conditions and control machines.
In agriculture, smart technology can help farmers deal with two key challenges: increasing demands on food production while optimizing the use of natural resources. Sustainability in agriculture means more than preserving the land; it also encompasses efforts to maintain or increase productivity while limiting the impact on the environment.
By taking a holistic approach to smart farming, farmers can not only save time but also improve crop yield through integrated data collection and analysis.
Why Use Smart Technology?
Smart technology is revolutionizing the agriculture industry because it helps farmers to improve efficiency, increase yield, and reduce costs. For example, smart machines can help farmers to reduce input costs by using less energy and water for irrigation. Smart technology can also help farmers to improve production by automating tasks that take a lot of time and effort. In addition, smart technology can help farmers to reduce waste by improving the storage of food until it is ready for sale. And finally, smart technology can help farmers to improve sustainability by monitoring changes in air quality or soil health so they know when they need to take action.
Examples of how smart technology is helping farmers
There are many ways to use smart technology to improve your farming operations:
- Smart tractors. In the past, farmers would have to rely on guesswork as they tried to determine the best path through a field. Not only could this mean wasting crop space and time, but it could also prevent the crops from getting enough sunlight and water. Now, though, farmers can use guided tractors that can create their own path through a field by using sensors that navigate the tractor around obstacles.
- Smart irrigation. Smart sensors monitor soil moisture and feed that data back into an app so you know when you need to water your crops—and how much water is needed for each crop. You also receive information about weather, so you don’t waste precious resources by watering during rainstorms or other periods of precipitation.
- Smart drones. Drones are being used for everything from crop scouting and monitoring plant health (they help you identify spots where plants are stressed) to spraying pesticides!
- Smart livestock tags. These innovative tags track livestock movements around the farm (which allows farmers to see which pasture areas are being overgrazed). They also monitor animals’ body temperatures (which helps with disease control), as well as milk production in dairy cows!
We’re only just starting to see the potential of smart technology in agriculture.
The take-away? This technology is still in its infancy, and we’re likely only just starting to see its potential. Thanks to new technology, we can expect that farmers will become more productive and efficient. In addition, the smart tech could improve farming’s environmental footprint—whether by reducing the use of fossil fuels or fertilizers—and improving safety on farms. The good news is that all these improvements have the potential to increase the bottom line for farmers and make healthy food available to more people.