How have advances in irrigation technology impacted farming trends?

Advanced irrigation systems provide water when it's needed most without wasting any resources. This precision allows for more efficient water distribution and better crop performance. The agricultural industry has been radically transformed over the past 50 years. Advances in machinery have expanded the scale, speed and productivity of agricultural equipment, leading to more efficient cultivation of more land.

Seeds, irrigation and fertilizers have also improved tremendously, helping farmers to increase yields. Now, agriculture is in the early days of another revolution, in which data and connectivity meet. Artificial intelligence, analytics, connected sensors and other emerging technologies could further increase yields, improve the efficiency of water and other inputs, and promote sustainability and resilience in crops and livestock. By 2050, demand for food will increase by 70%, in line with rapid population growth.

A UN study revealed that around 9.9% of the world's population is still hungry, so the idea of feeding nearly 10 billion mouths is a daunting prospect. Since environmental changes are difficult to predict, we must resort to innovation in agricultural technology. The benefits of automating traditional agricultural processes are monumental when addressing issues such as consumer preferences, labor shortages and the environmental footprint of agriculture. This vertical indoor agriculture cultivates agricultural products piled on top of others in a closed and controlled environment.

Reducing water and energy use optimizes energy conservation: vertical farms use up to 70% less water than traditional farms. Agricultural automation, often associated with “intelligent agriculture”, is a technology that makes farms more efficient and automates the agricultural or livestock production cycle. From advances in precision agriculture to agricultural automation, genetics and water management technology, innovations in agricultural technology provide the means for smarter, safer and more productive agriculture. Agricultural automation technology addresses major problems such as the increase in the global population, the shortage of agricultural labor, and changes in consumer preferences.

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