New technologies cultivating profitable farming operations
The future of the agricultural industry has never looked brighter, or more profitable, especially in farming operations. With a worldwide focus on Agriculture 4.0, which aims to grow precision farming and tech advancements within the agricultural sector at a mass scale, farming operations are not only becoming more profitable but also productive.
Agriculture 4.0, also known as the fourth agricultural revolution, differs from precision farming in that it adopts technology in all aspects of farming , from crop yields to harvesting, to logistics and transportation. The main focus of Agriculture 4.0 is to increase technology adoption rates in farming, driving effective and efficient change, that increases productivity in a sustainable and eco-friendly way.
Agriculture 4.0 focuses on using robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), vertical farms, drones, and solar energy in farming practices. This adoption ultimately leads to increased crop yields, cost and manual labour reductions, along with reducing the wastage of water, pesticides and fertilizer.
Explore the latest tech advancements in agriculture:
Sensors and data analytics
As with precision farming, sensors, and the data derived from these, are instrumental in helping farms cultivate healthy crop productions seasonally. By using the data from sensors embedded on the farm, farmers can take corrective measures to ensure their crops are getting the nutrients they need to thrive. Alerting notifications can be set up to notify the farmer if any anomalies occur, helping the farm to take swift action.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics
AI introduces more automation on farms. This can be seen in the drive towards machine-driven operations, such as driverless machines, like tractors or fertilisers and spraying machines, which can operate on their own without human interference. AI is proving to be more accurate and faster than humans, which can greatly aid in increasing farm efficiencies.
Robots are more commonly used to reduce manual labour on farms, such as being used to pick and harvest fruit. This frees up manual labour, where farmers can focus on other aspects of their farm – it also reduces costs of hiring pickers to harvest. Through the use of other robotics, such as drones, Farmers are able to monitor the health of their fields with precise imagery of crops. Through field imagery, farmers are better able to gauge which areas of their land need more attention and can monitor the health of their crops.
View and download The World Government Summit’s Agriculture 4.0 – The Future Of Farming Technology report to read more about future advancements in farming technology:
Biotechnology is also key in increasing the production rate and productivity of farming. Through biotech, farmers are able to produce crops that not only perform optimally in-season but are insect resistant, which eliminates the need for pesticides.
According to the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, “Researchers are now working on developing other traits to improve agricultural productivity—including increasing yield, biomass and product quality. For example:
The Victorian Government Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources is researching genetically modified perennial ryegrass varieties—for higher yields and better pasture productivity, and improved digestibility for animals. This research could improve the productivity of pastures for dairy grazing in Victoria and lead to a more efficient production system (Agriculture Victoria 2017).”
Simply put, blockchain technology is a digital record, linked to a decentralised database, which allows for a transparent view of supply chain transactions. Aside from creating a transparent view and improving traceability of transactions, it also improves food safety. Supply chain transactions include crop and soil monitoring, warehouse and distribution, to retail and marketing – all of the transactions that take place from farm to shelf. Data that can be recorded from each of these transactions include soil data (i.e., temperature or PH level of the soil), spraying and pesticides data, including recording weather conditions, quality control, transport, food safety, billing, compliance, and taxes. The benefit of recording supply chain transactions is that it can facilitate information sharing through its central database, which can substantially lower costs of agricultural transactions.
Vertical farming focuses on growing crops vertically, often in stacked layers. The major benefit of this type of farming is that it helps farmers to free up more land space because of the vertical stacking of crops, meaning that more crops can be produced at the same time. Because of the soilless nature of vertical farming, farmers make use of more environmentally-friendly methods of plant growth, through the use of hydroponics, aquaponics, and aeroponics. This means that farmers are not only optimising farmland but also reducing water and chemical wastage.
Clean energy allows farmers to go off the grid. This not only reduces their operating costs but increase their farm’s profits. Aside from using solar panels to power their operations, farmers can tap into the benefits of using solar thermal technology for power and desalinated water for irrigation, giving their corps what they need to ensure optimal growth and output, 24/7, without having to rely on nature’s resources, thereby increasing the number of yields per crop.
How Farmdeck can help with technology adoption in farming operations
With the range of features available, we can make the adoption of technology on your farm easy, simple and seamless.
Through our app, you can:
- Get a single platform to collect and manage all your farm, livestock and paddocks details.
- Gain visibility on all the information gathered by your sensors.
- Receive notifications when something out of the ordinary is happening on your farm.
Our team is constantly working on new features to enhance your farm management experience. Contact us to find out more.