Technological advancement has really changed many aspects of life. Today, almost every sector is run and managed through a certain aspect of technology. The agricultural sector, commonly known as being the backbone of many countries’ economic growth and development has received its share of changes following the adoption of technology in agriculture. There are so many benefits associated with the use of technology in agriculture among them increased efficiency, low costs of operation, and better production. Nevertheless, diverse technologies used in agriculture play different roles. It is important to have a clear understanding of the various technologies that are available for use in agriculture.
Key agricultural areas that require technological change
Technology can be used in different aspects of agriculture such as in engineering, automation, food, and sensors among others.
Food: there is a notable growth in world’s population; a thing that has strained the available sources of foods in the world. As such, technology is need in food to enhance high production at reduced cost of production.
Automation: the introduction of micro robots and large scale robotics can be used in checking as well as maintain crops within a given level.
Engineering: engineering is an important sector in agriculture, with technological adoption and its use in agriculture, we can be assured of new heights in terms of mechanization and general production. Technologies in agricultural engineering can lead to the development of new means, new areas of the economy, as well a new places.
In addition, the use of technology in synthetic biology can have significant impacts in the field of agriculture. The reasoning behind this is the fact that such technology can be used reprograming the unicellular life for the purpose of making fuels, as well as ensuring that it is easy to access.
Examples of technologies that can change agriculture in a big way
With the advancement in technology, you are likely to see various uses of technology in agriculture that nobody expected. However, considering the various changes in technology in various sectors of the economy, the agriculture is no exception. This article provides an overview of some of the technologies that if used in agriculture can have significant change.
- Soil and air sensors
Air and oil sensors have become commonly used in the modern farming. Sensors are considered ideal in the automated farm. The primary use of sensors in agriculture is the provision of real time information about conditions of water bodies, forests, or even the current farm. Such information is important especially in decision making.
- Equipment telematics
Equipment telematics is a new technology used to facilitate intra-tractor communication. This technology makes it easy for mechanics to be aware of the possible breakdown of a tractor. Apart from it being basic, it is important technology in farm management as it guarantees decisions based on facts.
- Livestock biometrics
Nowadays, various technologies are used in the monitoring and control of livestock. For examples, biometrics, RFID, GPS are used on collars for the purpose of identifying as well as relaying real time and important information regarding the livestock.
- Infrastructural health sensors
These sensors are useful in the provision of information such as monitory vibrations and material conditions like the conditions of the farms, factories, bridges, buildings, and any other infrastructure. The health sensors are intelligently networked for the purpose of providing the necessary information to the robots or the maintenance crews.
- Crop sensors
Traditionally, people applied fertilizers in their fields without any insights or even knowledge on the best fertilizers needed for the specific soil or crops. Nowadays, it is possible to prescribe fertilizers before applying them on any farm land. The use of high resolution crop sensors makes it possible to establish the appropriate amounts of fertilizers needed for a given land or crop.
- Variable rate swath control
There are concerns that swath control in the future is likely to be cost-effective in terms of herbicides, fertilizer, minerals, and seed. This will be achieved through the reduction of the overlapping inputs in farming. With the variable rate swath control, you can pre-compute the field’s shape to determine the appropriate input needed. Additionally, new technology using agbots or tractors can be used in the procedural application of the required amount of inputs.
- Agricultural robots
Agricultural robots are also referred to an agbots and are useful in the automation of agricultural processes such as in cases of irrigation, planting, weeding, soil maintenance, ploughing fruit picking, and harvesting among others. With such automation, farmers reduce the cost of operation and have high chances for increased productivity.
- Precision agriculture
This type of technology refers to the management of farming activities through the observation of the variations in the fields and responding to such variations with the appropriate measures. It is possible for farmers to optimize their returns through the use of advanced sensors and satellite imagery. Such technology provides a room for farmers to understand the variability of crops, have geolocated weather data, as well as use the precise sensors in improving the making of automated decisions as well as in complementary planting techniques.
- Vertical farming
Urban agriculture has become a common practice nowadays. Vertical farming is a significant way to utilize available space to maximize on the production. It is done on skyscrapers found in most urban areas. Vertical farming embraces the technology similar to glass houses. This type of farming has numerous advantages. For example, vertical farming allows the production of crops all year round. Secondly, the crops are protected from harsh weather conditions. In addition, it is an effective way to allow the production of food to support urban food autonomy as well as reduce the cost of transporting food from rural areas to the urban centers.
- Closed ecological systems
This is the use of technology to create a system whereby there is no reliance on outside matter exchange for existence. These types of ecosystems are ideal in that they enhance the transformation of various waste products into water, food, and oxygen for the purpose of supporting life within the system. Although such systems are already in use, there are limiting factors based on technology that make it hard to scale the systems.
Evidently, there is a significant evolution in the manner in which people are nowadays carrying out agriculture and the general farming. The adoption of technology in agriculture has greatly led to various changes in many traditional farming practices, for the better. In the modern agriculture, the primary focus is on the reduction of the costs of inputs and general operations while at the same time working towards better performance and high production.
Nevertheless, while all these technologies are useful in agriculture, it is important to have a clear understanding of any technology before adopting it. Such prior precaution is necessary in that it lays out the foundation of what needs to be done, when to do it, as well as gives a clear picture of what the outcomes of such practices are. As such, taking the time to understand various agricultural technologies is the foundation of success in modern farming.