How New and Emerging Technologies are Transforming Agriculture
Technology continues to change the agriculture industry. And with new tech releases happening every day, you’ve got many options available to get the job done. There’s a lot to consider as the market continues to advance. Let’s look at new and emerging farm technologies and see how they can reduce overhead and aid your operation.
Precision Agriculture and Artificial Intelligence Enhance Agribusiness
From new ways to explore the topography of your acreage with drones to managing inventories with blockchain controls, it can be hard to keep up with the tech side of farming. Take a look at these latest innovations that are benefiting agribusiness — and helping boost profits, too.
AeroVironment’s drones are changing the farming landscape. By paying attention to farmer feedback, AeroViornment has made a Complete Drone Package system that’s intuitive to use. And it can inventory vast parcels quickly on a number of key levels.
Capable of covering 400 acres in just 45 minutes, these drones capture high quality images through their QuickLook mapping technology. Performing analytics along with comparative/historical reporting, farmers are getting the data they need to make quick decisions.
IBM introduces artificial intelligence to agriculture. Their Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture offers farmers a wealth of weather and crop data. Similar to an electronic medical record, their electronic field record (EFR) delivers weather data — historic and near-real-time. Moisture data in soil is also offered at multiple depths. That information — combined with planting details, fertilizer application, pesticide schedules — produce a seedling-to-harvest output report.
Updated satellite and drone imagery is overlaid atop this data and that’s where IBM’s Watson AI machine learning comes into play. Generating recommendations and strategies based on these findings, farmers can take advantage of IBM’s AI decision-crunching power and make informed crop-production choices on what to do next.
Blockchain emerges as a player in harvest inventory. Because farmers often lack bargaining power when it comes time to sell their grain, they’ve had to settle for a going rate, but that’s about to change. Blockchain can open their grain harvest and sale up to a wider array of local, regional and even global buyers. Groups like AgriDigital and GrainChain have re-defined the grain selling market, and farmers are taking notice with increased profits from these new digital technologies.
Drones inventory crop losses. When hail strikes your fields, it can be difficult to understand how much of your crop’s been destroyed. Farmers are now able to let drones index their crops and compare the pre and post hail footage to pinpoint areas that suffered severe damage. This data is then passed on to insurance groups which can help to expedite the claims process.
GPS and automatic steering (auto steer) tractors. It’s clear to see why this tech was one of the first to be embraced by farmers. Autosteer paired with GPS reduces overlap and makes banding fertilizer and strip-tilling possible. This gives you both time-saving value and makes the most of your land with the benefits of the strip-till conservation system. Fully autonomous tractors are in limited release and represent the next wave of where this tech is heading.
Digital Technologies for Agriculture Boost Food Production
As digital technologies make their way onto the farm, new processes emerge that push up harvest yields. The following technologies specialize in new agricultural products and have some great forward-looking ideas that can increase yields and lift margins to new levels.
Irrigation control apps. The Internet of Things (IoT) has found it’s way into the field. Now, farmers are able to review how their hydration systems are operating in real-time. With details on current irrigator position, information on water flow, they’re able to get water to the areas of their fields that really need it with tools like CropX and CropWater. Tied to soil moisture sensing devices, they’ll get alerts when an area’s saturated and can adjust the irrigation schedule through their phone to prevent overwatering.
Bovcontrol. Bovcontrol is a technology start up that uses the cloud-based data to track your cattle. From inventory to nutritional needs, all of the information you need is easily accessible and managed. The future goal is to give you an analysis tool that takes your data to create solutions that improve performance on meat, milk and genetics production.
Nitrogen (N) modeling delivers in-field nutrient data. Because fertilizer is a big seller — and a major agribusiness expense — getting the right amount of N on your crops is essential. That’s never been easier, thanks to products like Adapt-N and Climate FieldView. These products monitor and measure the impact of your agronomic decisions and manage field N variation by delivering custom fertility and seeding plans that can optimize yields.
Trace Genomics. Microbes and biological data in soil can help farmers maximize their harvest. The goal is to create an affordable way to detect hundreds of pathogens and beneficial organisms with strain-specific identification. This opens the door to accurately treating your soil and managing pests for results that boost crop yield.
The opportunities to automate productivity and raise crop health have never been better. Today’s technology gives farmers a truly customizable plan for their operation. American Family Insurance is rooted in farming and has grown with you for nearly 90 years. Connect with your agent to ensure you’ve got the farm and ranch coverage your production schedule requires and remember to review any new farm equipment you may want to protect. You’ll find real peace of mind knowing that your investments are carefully insured.