Emerging Technologies that Could Change the Future of Agriculture

Farming may be an ancient industry but the latest progress in agricultural science and technology could change how the world eats.

Technology has always played a major role in human civilization. Technology has also changed the way agriculture is done today with the latest inventions and gadgets. Some of the investors and entrepreneurs of the world’s newest industries have started planning and investing their money into farming.

With the latest advancements in various fields of technology such as computer software, telecommunication, medicine, health technology, and engineering, the future of agriculture is sure to look a lot different than what it does today.

Below are related technologies in different areas; Sensors, Food, and Automation and Engineering, that could change the world.

1.  Sensors

Sensors help farmers to get real time information, traceability, and data of their crop, livestock, and equipment. Enabling diagnosis and data analysis without actually having to record all the data manually. Sensors of today are often connected to a data logging system which keeps track and analyzes all data automatically.

Hi-tech systems are in demand to help grow high-performance crops. Researchers are using sensors to match the crops to different soils and weather conditions. – Deutsche Welle

Below are several types of sensors:

  • Air & soil sensors: These sensors would enable understanding of current air, water, and soil conditions of a farm in real time.
  • Livestock biometrics:  Collars with GPS, RFID and biometrics can identify and relay vital information about the livestock automatically in real time.
  • Crop sensors: These will send data to the application equipment before fertilizer application about the field conditions and the correct amount of fertilizers needed. Drones will be used to identify crop health before prescribing remedy.
  • Equipment telematics: Telematics technology can be used control devices from a distance or for communication. For example, tractors can be started and warmed ahead of time.

2. Food

Food in the future could be produced directly from genetic tailoring and potentially produced directly in a lab.

Genetically designed food: Some scientists are talking about creating entirely new strains of food, the genetically designed and engineered food.  This food would be a departure from genetically modified food and would be designed from the ground up.

3. Automation & Mechanical Engineering

Automation will take over large scale farms and the use of robotics and micro robots to check and maintain crops will become wide spread.

  • Variable rate swath control: Building on existing geo location technologies, swath controls of the future could save double inputs of resources. It could save on seeds, herbicides, minerals, and fertilizers by reducing overlapping inputs and by precomputing field size, area and apply at different rates.
  • Agricultural robots: Tractors agricultural robots or “ag-bots” can procedurally apply inputs at variable rates throughout the field. These would be programmed for automated agriculture for harvesting, seeding, and so on.
  • Vertical farming: In future, vertical farms in high rise buildings would replicate the natural environment of agriculture on different floors. Plants and animals would be grown and raised on high-rise vertical farms. This would be a technique similar to greenhouses but at a larger scale.

To produce more food for the future, technology will play a major role in agriculture, as it always has for human civilization. Our resources are limited, and so, sustainable agriculture and new technologies that support sustainability are becoming necessary for feeding the world in future.

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