How are we going to feed the growing population by 2050? How we are going to double our food supply and how will the farming be sustainable? All the answers involve farm technology.
Farm technology creates the ability to grow plants that are disease resistant, to use the equipment that can target individual crops and strengthen the rice that can survive drought and flooding and literally save lives. Farming may be one of the oldest most traditional occupations known to man, but today it's on a cutting edge. Scientists say, and the farmers agree, that it has to be if we want to feed the growing population with a shrinking amount of farmland.
Farm technology has created huge changes in the way that people live over the centuries. In order to meet global food demands, we need to use innovative science-based solutions, that will lead to significant improvements in our food and nutritional security.
In addition to improved seeds and crop protection tools, there are other technologies that enable farmers to increase their productivity:
Precise Farm Navigation - along with GIS and GPS there is a wide range of sensors, monitors, and controllers for farm equipment. They enable farmers to use electronic guidance aids to direct equipment movements more accurately, provide precise positioning for all equipment actions and chemical applications and analyze all of that data in association with other sources of data (agronomic, climatic, etc). Precise farm technologies are management tools for every modern farm manager.
Drones – By operating a small aerial drone over fields, a farmer can receive detailed pictures of the crops. From the images or a live video, he can see exactly what parts of the field are attacked by plant diseases, insects or have a lack of water. In a matter of minutes, he can gather as much information as someone could get in several hours walking through the field.
Farm Management Software - Farm management software is expected to play an important role in improving farming activities. Agrivi is a cloud software for crop production. Based on best-practice processes for more than 80 crops, Agrivi guides farmers towards improving their production and increasing productivity. Its features include project-oriented farm management with a simple and fast way of planning, monitoring and tracking all farm activities and input usage. Advance sales and expense tracking ensure taking control over farm finances. Other features include inventory management with low inventory alarms which prevents delays in production caused by lack of inputs, weather monitoring with a detailed 7-day weather forecast for every field and smart pest and disease risk detection alarms.
Modern Irrigation Software - One of the most important jobs of a farmer is to ensure rational water use. There are various types of mobile and web software that help farmers manage the water use on their crops by taking into account local weather conditions.
Soil and Crop Sensors – Smart sensors that can read everything from plant health and water needs in the crops to nitrogen levels in the soil. Sensors then enable on-the-go application of inputs based on real-time field conditions.
The technology has made for better farming. It’s changing the way that humans operate the machines, saves time and fuel, saves fatigue and brings some cost-savings. It reduces the farming footprint, making it more sustainable and more compatible with the environment.
It's not hard to figure it out that in order to feed our population and protect our environment, we are going to have to farm smarter, using modern farm tools that work better.
Text sources: How Stuff Works || Farm Industry News
Image sources: Senseye || Intech || John Deere