One Of The Least Digitised Industries Becomes Digitised
Over the past 50 years, the agriculture industry has radically transformed. Machine advancements have increased the scale, speed, and productivity of farm equipment, allowing for more efficient cultivation of land. Now, agriculture is in the early stages of yet another revolution, whereby data and connectivity lie at the core. Artificial intelligence, analytics, connected sensors, and other digital farming technologies could further increase yields, improve the efficiency of water and build sustainability and resilience across crop cultivation and animal farming.
The rapid pace of investment and widespread adoption of digital farming is a testament to the power of technology reducing costs, boosting yields, and putting more money in the pockets of growers.
Without a solid connectivity infrastructure, research predicts the industry could lose out on $500 billion in additional value to the global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030. This makes AgTech one of a few sectors, that fuelled by advanced connectivity, could contribute $2 trillion to $3 trillion in additional value to the global GDP over the next decade.
As the world’s population grows and demand for food rockets, alongside increasing environmental pressures and a push for more ethical and sustainable farm practices, the consultants at AgTech Recruitment partner, Storm4, reveal the digital farming technologies that are easing the pressure from farmers and growers around the world.
The Digital Farming Technologies Needed To Supply The Next Crop Surge
- Crop Monitoring
Integrating weather data, irrigation, nutrient and other systems, crop monitoring has the potential to improve resource use and boost yields by accurately identifying and predicting deficiencies. For example, sensors monitoring soil conditions can direct sprinklers to adjust water and nutrient levels, while delivering imagery from remote corners of fields to inform farmers of problems like disease or pests. Smart crop monitoring can also help farmers maximise their crop earnings by adjusting the harvesting window.
The use of additional and smoother connections between soil, farm equipment, and farm managers has the potential to unlock $130 billion to $175 billion in value by 2030.
- Livestock monitoring
Preventing disease outbreak in large-scale livestock management is crucial. Chips and body sensors that monitor temperature, pulse, and blood pressure, among other parameters, can detect illnesses early, preventing herd infection and improving food quality.
Smartbow‘s ear-tag technology, for example, can track cow’s heat, health, and location, while Allflex’s technology provides extensive electronic tracing in the event of disease outbreaks.
Equally, environmental sensors can also trigger automatic adjustments in ventilation or heating in barns, minimizing distress and improving living conditions that increasingly concern the growing ethical consumers.
Improved monitoring of animal health and growth conditions has the potential to produce $70 billion to $90 billion in value by 2030.
- Farming by drone
Whilst drones have been used in farming for several decades, the next generation is beginning to make an impact. These drones have the ability to assess crops and herds over vast areas quickly and efficiently, or as a relay system, for transferring real-time data to other connected equipment and installations. They can also utilise computer vision to monitor field conditions and provide precise interventions, such as fertilizers, nutrients, and pesticides to crops that need them the most.
By lowering costs and improving yields, the use of drones could generate between $85 billion and $115 billion in value.
- Autonomous farming
The introduction of smart and autonomous farming technology has been accelerated by precise GPS controls and computer vision and sensors. This allows farmers to operate a variety of equipment on their field simultaneously and without human intervention, freeing up time and other resources. Autonomous machines also have the added benefit of being more efficient and precise at working a field than human-operated ones, generating fuel savings and higher yields.
Increasing the autonomy of machinery through better connectivity could create $50 billion to $60 billion of additional value by 2030.
These digital farming technologies are just some of the ways in which the historic processes of farming are keeping up with the smart, data-driven world we live in today. Providing precise, real-time, scalable data permits the AgTech industry to continue the cultivation cycle and feed the growing population sustainably.
Company bio:- Storm4 are leaders in global GreenTech recruitment, connecting organisations with senior talent to drive their mission of a sustainable future. With institutional backing from Puffin Point Investments, the company has over $3m in Series A funding to disrupt the GreenTech recruitment market. Their highly specialised teams cover key GreenTech skillsets across C-Suite in Product Management, Engineering, Sales, Marketing and Data & Analytics. They are a leading provider of GreenTech-focused information to clients for market compensation and best practice in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, hiring and retention.