The agricultural industry has come a long way since the invention of the plow, or later the tractor, to increase productivity. Today, technological innovations impact every industry, and farming is no exception. Technology advancements are becoming more common in the industry and have many benefits. Here are several that are changing livestock and crop management.
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What is Digital Agriculture?
Digital agriculture is the process of integrating technology into regular management practices associated with commercial farming. It uses a variety of data collection processes to benefit the industry, from seeds to animals to the consumer.
What Are the Benefits?
Bringing technology to the traditional farm offers a variety of valuable strategies that include mobile solutions, artificial intelligence and other digital technologies. These innovations create a more efficient and sustainable crop or livestock operation, including the following:
Before integrating digital solutions, using paper forms and antiquated spreadsheets to collect information manually for delivery and processing was a time-consuming procedure for every commercial farm. Today, automated mobile computing solutions can streamline communication, creating valuable operational efficiency. Automated information instantly transfers data from the field to management and supply chain partners. The benefit of this technology is that it allows better visibility throughout the food chain.
Innovates Water Monitoring
Conventional watering methods can have costly consequences when it comes to efficiency. Fortunately, it is a thing of the past thanks to the innovation of digital farming with intelligent irrigation solutions. This new cloud-based technology offers farmers complete water flow control through automated tracking with wireless sensors. It collects valuable data through the system to allow farmers to monitor the system from anywhere. Additionally, the technology enables the ability to detect leaks and clogs instantly, saving time and money on what would otherwise be a costly issue.
Develops Informed Decisions
The success of every farm is the ability to make correct choices regarding where to plant crops, when to plant them, and when to harvest them. Moreover, farmers must know how much to charge and which partners to choose. Digital technology changes how to make these decisions by providing valuable insight. It allows farmers to understand their performance and the information necessary to make informed decisions. Notably, digital data collection technology is still growing and will continue to innovate solutions for future challenges relating to harvesting and selling crops.
Food production is a highly regulated industry, and the documentation required for food that ends up on consumer tables with manual forms can be time-consuming and tedious. Farmers are now able to digitize this process with mobile solutions. This technology can capture photos, video and GPS coordinates allowing farmers to fill out and file forms directly from their smartphones.
Conserves Time and Money
One of the most attractive benefits of digitizing agriculture is its significant ability to save farmers valuable time and money. Farmers can reduce costs quickly using GPS technology and apply powerful insights to increase their yield. Some of these solutions may seem expensive, but the price soon lowers by providing better efficiency and visibility in the industry.
How Does it Take Place?
Several implementations are available for digital farming, and the list is growing as innovation continues. A few examples of how it is transforming the industry include:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) can provide quick insight for farmers while avoiding inefficiencies from human error.
- Robotics can feed and pick crops as well as slaughter livestock.
- Internet of Things (IoT) and sensors enable farmers to evaluate and track produce, animals and the environment of their crops.
- Cloud Connectivity offers real-time solutions for farmers to accomplish tasks quickly and efficiently.
- Drones can make observations humans cannot see and provide insights regarding irrigation and harvest timing.
There are still miles to go regarding the advancement of digital agriculture. Still, there are a large number of commercial farmers who already benefit from the current innovations. The efficiency through automation increases visibility throughout the supply chain, and the industry will continue to see remarkable benefits far into the future.