By 2050, the world’s population is projected to reach 9.7 billion, straining the planet’s resources and increasing the need for more food production. The agriculture industry will have to increase its output by 70% to meet this demand, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.
But farmers face significant challenges in producing enough food while also protecting the environment. They must contend with a changing climate, pests and diseases, and soil degradation.
Technology can help farmers overcome these challenges and produce more food with fewer inputs. Here are five innovations in agtech that could make a big impact in the next few years:
1. Drones for crop mapping and monitoring
Drones are increasingly being used in agriculture for tasks like mapping and crop monitoring. Farmers can use drones to create high-resolution maps of their fields, which can be used to plan planting, irrigation, and fertilizer applications.
Drones can also be equipped with sensors that collect data on plant health, water stress, and other factors that affect crop yields. This data can help farmers make more informed decisions about how to manage their crops.
2. AI-powered precision agriculture
Precision agriculture is a farming practice that uses technology to improve the efficiency of agricultural production. Farmers who use precision agriculture techniques can optimize their inputs based on real-time data about soil conditions, weather, and crop health.
AI is playing an increasingly important role in precision agriculture. Farmers can use AI-powered applications to make better decisions about when to plant, how to irrigate, and what chemicals to apply. AI can also be used to automatically detect crop pests and diseases, and alert farmers so they can take action to treat them.
3. Crop monitoring with satellites
Satellites can be used to monitor crops from space. This information can be used to improve crop yield predictions, assess drought risk, and track the progress of planting and harvesting.
Farmers can also use satellite data to plan their irrigation and fertilizer applications. For example, if a farmer knows that an area of their field is particularly dry, they can target that area with irrigation water or apply more fertilizer to prevent yield losses.
4. Automated tractors and farm equipment
Automated tractors and other farm equipment are becoming more common on farms. These machines can operate without a human operator, freeing up farmers’ time for other tasks.
Automated farm equipment can also be equipped with sensors and data-gathering capabilities that allow it to collect information about the field as it is being worked. This information can be used to improve crop yield predictions and make decisions about irrigation, planting, and fertilization.
5. Blockchain for food traceability
Blockchain is a digital ledger technology that can be used to track the movement of food products through the supply chain. Farmers can use blockchain to track their crops from the field to the grocery store.
This traceability can help ensure that food is safe to eat and that it was produced using sustainable practices. It can also help farmers identify where their crops went if they are recalled due to contamination.
These are just some of the innovations in agtech that could make a big impact in the next few years. As the world’s population continues to grow, so too will the need for more food production. Technology will play an important role in helping farmers meet this demand while also protecting the environment.
If you would like to learn more about agtech and how it can benefit your farm, contact an Agtech IT specialist today to learn more about how they can help you. They provide information technology services to the agricultural industry. Theye offer a wide range of services, including data management, cloud computing, and web development.