Farming has come a long way since its inception. First, using plows and the latest innovations like the tractor improved agricultural productivity. The digital age impacts every industry, and agriculture is no exception. In the following blog section, we shall share the details of how technology has affected the agricultural industry. Technology is fast becoming more and more common in the agricultural sector. There are a lot of benefits of digital farming technology. But before we get into digital farming technology, let us share what digital agriculture is.
What is Digital Agriculture?
Digital agriculture integrates technology into livestock and crop management and other processes related to cultivating and managing food resources. The term is mainly used for describing the different uses for the variety of data collected in agriculture. However, it is also about how the technology is integrated and works through the supply chain, from seeds or farm animals to the consumer.
How is Digital Farming Technology Being Used Nowadays?
Did you know? Analysts have described the world’s food producers as the “least digitized” industry? However, some would argue that this means the agricultural sector is ripe for disruption. Here are a few ways the innovations in digital farming technology are beginning to transform the agricultural industry.
The latest generation of farmers are now deploying robots to pick and plant crops, feed them and even care for livestock. The present market for agricultural robotics is worth more than $5 billion, and it is expected to grow more in the next five years.
2. IoT Sensors
Using sensors and the Internet of Things, farmers can track the live animals and production and evaluate the environmental factors and health of the livestock. This offers the partners and farmers real-time visibility throughout their operations, and insight into how best to manage day to day tasks.
3. Artificial Intelligence
Most farming these days is based on trial and error, or the traditional knowledge passed down from the people with a deep understanding of the industry. Therefore, it creates new challenges for new entries to the industry and must undergo many costly errors. Artificial Intelligence is an incredible asset for veterans and new farmers alike. It helps these professionals get the necessary information and avoid all sorts of inefficiencies.
Drones have become extremely common in the field of agriculture. For example, in China, they survey 20 million hectares of cotton crops to observe things humans might not be able to see. Drones can also offer insights into harvest timing, pest protection, irritation and more.
5. Cloud Connectivity
Cloud-based connectivity uses real-time internet connection to offer farmers more flexible digital solutions and economies of scale. However, a lot of farmers are not connected at all. Therefore, adopting cloud connectivity is a significant upgrade where the farmers can see and accomplish much more in real time.
6. Data Analytics
There is no denying the fact that almost everything depends on data these days. With almost every industry being data-dependant, agriculture is not falling short of it. With so much information to process, it is crucial to opt for digital farming technology. Fortunately, some innovators create robust solutions that help those in the agricultural industry collect, store and make sense of data.
What are the Benefits of Digital farming Technology?
A digital farm is much more sustainable and highly efficient than traditional operations. Introducing technology into the agricultural sector includes a wide array of strategies. These include artificial Intelligence, mobile technologies, the Internet of Things, and many more digital solutions. Some of the many benefits of digital agriculture include the following:
1. Streamlined and More Effective Communication
With automated workflows becoming more and more invaluable for the teams in the agricultural industry, the use of paper forms and antiquated spreadsheets, manual data collection, delivery and processing doesn’t prevail anymore. Digital farming technology includes automated data collection through RFID tags and other mobile computing solutions. As a result, the agricultural data is collected easily in the field and sent instantly to the supply chain partners and management. Therefore, it enhances operational efficiency and creates much more visibility through the supply food chain.
2. Effective Monitoring
Digital farming technology allows farmers to monitor the health of their livestock and crops much better. Tools like wearable sensors for livestock monitor the temperature; the drones survey the fields, sensors assess the soil quality, helping to create a strategy for the seed planting patterns. In addition, farmers can employ animation to predict the success of different strategies. These solutions also help manage and monitor pest and weed activity throughout their operations.
3. Better Documentation
When the farmers produce food on the consumers’ tables, they have to maintain traceability for all aspects of the farm-to-table process. This is a highly regulated industry. However, the manual forms won’t allow digital attachments, making the entire process more tedious and time-consuming than needed.
With digital farming technology, farmers can digitize their operations and fill out all the needed forms directly from their mobile devices. The forms could include captured GPS coordinates, allow uploading videos and photos, and digital signature boxes.
4. Much More Informed Decision
Successful agriculture is based on a series of correct choices – including when to plant the crops when to harvest them, how to grow them, which partners to work with, what prices to charge and more. Digital farming technology offers farmers detailed insights to understand better the performance and the information they need to make more informed decisions. Also, agricultural companies leverage Big Data to solve any number of issues or prevent issues related to planting, selling, harvesting, and transporting crops.
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