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article imageDigital transformation trends in agriculture

By Tim Sandle     May 30, 2018 in Business
New technology is re-shaping the approach to agriculture and it can potentially deliver many benefits, including improved production. These innovations are particularly of use to low income countries.
A survey of innovations in AgTech has recently been run in an article on Forbes.com. The focus is on technologies that will help to address the ever-growing need for food supply as the global population continues to rise. According to PrecisionAg, to address future demand the agriculture industry’s output needs to increase by 60 percent by 2030.
To achieve the required global food supply investment in new technology together with the digital transformation of agriculture is required. The optimal use of new technology is as a sustainable and scalable resource.
An example is through the use of the Internet of Things and equipping fields with sensors. Based on a study by Cisco, the short-term application of the Internet of Things for agriculture could be worth $14.4 trillion in value.
This involves the positioning of sensors around fields to enable image recognition, enabling farmers to view crops from anywhere in the world. Moreover, such sensors can collect, analyse and send data in real-time, altering to any changes to crop growth that require response.
The Forbes review further expands on the use of sensors, gearing these towards’ precision agriculture’. This means sensors helping to guide tractors which are fitted with navigation systems. Some of sensors help the tractor to compensate for uneven terrain, making use of GPS.
Other sensors can assist with yield mapping and harvest documentation. Other devices can collect metrics about the performance of the tractor and collect data helping farmers to schedule maintenance and servicing, thereby avoiding unexpected downtime.
For low income countries, access to the Internet itself can pay dividends. The Internet can play a major role by providing a cost-effective way to deliver information services to a large, dispersed population. In this context Internet technology can deliver knowledge to farmers and planning tools to agribusinesses, and connects the various players within a communication cluster.
Drones can also assist global agriculture. Drones allow farmers to visualize their fields and crops using an aerial source, from a source controlled by the farmer. As an example, three-dimensional imaging can be used to assess soil quality and for planning seed planting patterns.
A further area is with robotics, where automated machines are increasingly being used for the activity of farming. Robots can work faster and more efficiently than human-driven machines. Examples of such robots spraying and weeding autonomous devices.
More about Agriculture, Drones, digital transformation, Data
 
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