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According to Forbes Magazine, agricultural technology (also known as AgTech) is rapidly changing the industry in recent years. In 2015, the investment in science and technology in agriculture reached US $ 4.6 billion, which was three years ago! However, as the population on the planet continues to grow, the supply of resources may be seriously affected in the future. Recent research has found that by 2030, agricultural output must increase by 60% to meet human needs.
So how do we do it? The agricultural sector (including farmers , food producers) must accept the digital transformation of agriculture. By using technology as a sustainable and scalable resource, we will be able to push agriculture to new heights and keep agriculture in the future. Let's take a closer look at the six digital transformation trends in agriculture:
The Internet of Things is disrupting the agricultural industry in great ways. In fact, the Internet of Things has huge potential in the food sector. According to a report released by Cisco, the Internet of Things alone can create $ 14.4 trillion in value for agriculture. The Internet of Things is using sensors on devices and materials to simplify the collection, inspection, and overall allocation of agricultural resources. The strategic deployment of sensors in farmland, coupled with the help of image recognition technology, allows farmers to see their crops anywhere in the world.
These sensors send the latest information to farmers in real time, so they can make changes based on how the crop is growing. Although I don't have much gardening skills, I can rely on an app that tells me that the plants in the backyard need watering or other types of nutrients, and I think it makes them grow better. IoT sensors in agriculture are doing the same for farmers, but obviously larger deployments will help increase food production and reduce waste, which is exactly what this industry needs.
2. IoT and sensors in the device
Much like technology in farmland, sensors can also be installed on agricultural equipment to track the health of machines. The term " precision agriculture " is used to describe the situation where tractors and other agricultural equipment are implanted with navigation systems and various sensors. Some of these sensors can be used to make up for the shortcomings of GPS systems to deal with uneven terrain. Some sensors are used to produce yield maps and harvest documents. When the tractor needs maintenance, other sensors can monitor it. Together, these sensors are reducing downtime.
3.Drone and crop monitoring
When you work in the garden, you can usually see all the plants at a glance. But farmers work on hundreds of hectares of land, which means that the only way they can get a bird's eye view of the farmland is by airplane.
Imagine if farmers could use aerial resources to visualize their crops without having to charter planes, would their return on investment increase? Drones are being widely used for crop monitoring across the United States as a fight against drought and other harmful environments The means of factors. A drone capable of producing three-dimensional images can predict soil quality by analyzing and planning seed planting patterns.
Drones are also used to spray crops while being careful not to penetrate the groundwater. Recent research has shown that drones can increase spraying speeds up to 5 times compared to other types of machines.
4. Agriculture and robotics
Just as robots and artificial intelligence ( AI ) are used in other industries, robotics in agriculture can help increase productivity and help increase yields and harvesting efficiency. Such robots, such as spray and weeding robots recently acquired by John Deere, can reduce pesticide use by 90%.
Other robotic startups are experimenting with laser and camera technology to help identify and clear weeds without requiring human intervention. These robots can be used to navigate between different crops, reducing the manpower behind them. Other companies are also making plant transplant robots to increase the efficiency of traditional agricultural methods. Finally, automation is being tested for fruit picking and nut harvesting, which in the past always seemed too elaborate to work with robots.
5.RFID sensors and tracking
After the crop is harvested, RFID sensors can be used to track the movement of food from the field into the market to the end-user kitchen. Mid-range users or consumers are able to track the detailed production routes of the food they buy from the market. This technology can increase the reliability of manufacturers, forcing them to always provide fresh products.
This is not to say that it can reduce outbreaks of E. coli or other harmful bacteria, but if an outbreak occurs, it can be easily traced to farms or factories that produce and process agricultural products. Consider the US lettuce recall that happened a few weeks ago. Bacteria infected patients in 16 states, but the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) could not trace the source, so they could only issue a nationwide warning.
If all crops have RFID sensors, outbreaks and panic can be minimized. These tracking systems can reduce consumer concerns about allergens. For farmers, the idea that their products can be tracked brings a sense of relief. After all, they can ensure that their products can safely enter the consumer's kitchen.
6. Machine learning and analysis
Perhaps one of the most innovative parts of digital transformation is the ability to use machine learning and advanced analytics to mine data trends, which can begin before the seeds are planted. Machine learning can predict which traits and genes are most suitable for crops, and provide farmers around the world with seeds that are best suited to local geographic locations and climatic conditions.
Machine learning algorithms can also be used in agricultural production , where consumers buy their products. These algorithms can show which products are purchased the most and which products are eliminated in the market. Therefore, create skilled and effective forecasts for future agriculture. I believe that the future of agriculture depends on its digital transformation. Farmers will benefit from the digital transformation of agriculture, so that they no longer need to worry about the environment, can grow higher-yielding crops, and manage crops in effective new ways. As the global population continues to grow, agricultural technology must also develop rapidly.