The global population is expected to reach 10 billion within the 21st century. That’s 10 billion mouths that will need to be fed. How is the agricultural industry with this expanding population?
Advancements in agricultural technology (AgTech) have been, and are expected to continue, transforming the agricultural industry, creating more efficient processes and greater yields. In this article, we’ll break down the 5 agricultural trends and advancements to watch for in the coming years.
Biotech took the healthcare industry by storm. Now, it’s shifting gears toward agriculture, making advancements in plant DNA alteration and genetic modifications. Genetic modification is nothing new. In fact, it’s been implemented ever since the advent of agriculture. Farmers select the crops that taste the best, produce the highest yields, and are the most resilient.
Now, thanks to biotechnology, we’re able to affect plants at the genetic level, making selection much quicker and more efficient.
- Soil/Moisture Sensors
The water level in soil has a huge impact on the health of a crop. Modern technologies allow for the analysis of the nutrient and moisture level of soil. Farmers monitor the amount of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus.
With this data, they can adjust the fertilizer and irrigation they provide to their crops. Using a need-based variable schedule rather than a fixed time-based schedule will maximize their yields and minimize the expenses of unnecessary fertilization.
This technology also provides greater ecological benefits as well since lower levels of fertilizer will be washed away into groundwater and natural bodies of water like rivers and lakes.
Just as automation has swept manufacturing industries the past century, it will do the same to agriculture industries in the century to come. The use of robots as labor saving systems like irrigation and harvesting will only rise.
This will allow for more consistency during processing, maximizing productivity and minimizing the costs of labor and time.
The major benefit of using agricultural robots is that they can stay consistent while processing. This reduces risks and maximizes productivity. Employers can cut down on labor costs and save time.
Industrial equipment producers are keeping up with the latest advances in AgTech, supplying farmers with the much needed equipment. It’s as important for these equipment manufacturers and suppliers to keep up to date with technology as it is for the farmers.
One, perhaps unexpected, technology used in farming is unmanned aerial drones. These drones are used to gather and analyze data as well as monitor the health and status of fields by providing aerial views.
The size of farm fields are continuing to increase. Because of this, monitoring technologies are becoming more and more necessary to cover the expanding acreage of farms.
Humans are not the only creatures that are fed by crops. Insects have always been a huge problem for farmers. Whole seasons worth of crops have been lost to insect invasions before and because of this, it’s extremely important to protect these crops from invaders.
Crop sensors allow farmers to monitor when plants are under attack from pests and insects. Much like fertilizers, these sensors inform farmers on when to apply pesticides
Automation and other technologies are aiding farmers and helping countries keep up with rising populations and food demands. The 21st century will see even more advancements introduced into the Agro-sphere and help bring developing countries into the modern age.