Automation: including the use of autonomous robots, drones and tractors to make agriculture more efficient. Precision agriculture: which involves applying irrigation, fertilizers and pesticides at varying rates, depending on the needs of the crops, instead of applying them uniformly at established times, quantities and frequencies. Technological advances in the agricultural sector meet the growing demand for agricultural automation, digitalization and sustainability. Emerging agricultural trends mark a shift towards intelligent agriculture and the efficient use of time and resources, while reducing crop losses.
Smart agriculture is an emerging concept that implements technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI) for agriculture. Robots and drones are accelerating agricultural automation by replacing manual agricultural operations, such as picking fruits, removing weeds or spraying water. Drone and satellite images, together with the Global Positioning System (GPS), provide a high-resolution, location-specific view of the field. In addition, IoT devices, powered by sensor technology, collect real-time field data that allows farmers to make data-based decisions.
In addition, the widespread adoption of precision agriculture and indoor agriculture in recent years has boosted the growth of IoT in agriculture. Taken together, these technological innovations generate disruptive and sustainable changes in agricultural practices. The goal is not only to improve the overall quality and quantity of crops and to improve livestock management, but also to achieve the ultimate goal of a sustainable future. By 2050, demand for food will increase by 70%, in line with rapid population growth.
A UN study found 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. Precision agriculture is an agricultural resource management strategy that collects, processes and evaluates data and provides information to help farmers optimize and increase soil quality and productivity. After discovering that birds are sensitive to the color green, a researcher from the University of Rhode Island helped design a laser scarecrow, which projects green laser light.
Humans don't see light in sunlight, but it can extend 600 feet across a field to scare birds before destroying crops. The first tests with laser scarecrows found that the devices can minimize damage to crops by reducing the population of birds around farmland by 70 to 90%. According to Agritech Tomorrow, population growth and demand for food mean that farmers will need to increase agricultural production by at least 23% to maintain our current standard of living. Therefore, losing all yields due to pests is a major problem as the world population grows.
Irrigation is a vital method of providing water to drylands that generally do not have enough rainfall to be arable. However, while this is a crucial aspect of agriculture today, many farmers still irrigate their fields with unnecessary amounts of water in the same way as the Mesopotamians did more than 4,000 years ago. Innovation and technology in agriculture offer farmers more sustainable ways to provide sufficient water to plants. For example, N-Drip, a microdrip irrigation system, allows water to drip slowly to plant roots, creating the right environment for crops to thrive.
Technology reduces water use by up to 50% and improves crop quality. 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. Indoor vertical farming can increase crop yields, overcome limited land area, and even reduce the impact of agriculture on the environment by reducing the distance traveled in the supply chain. Vertical indoor agriculture can be defined as the practice of growing products piled on top of each other in a closed and controlled environment.
By using vertically mounted grow racks, it significantly reduces the amount of land space needed to grow plants compared to traditional growing methods. This type of cultivation is often associated with urban and urban agriculture because of its ability to thrive in limited space. Vertical farms are unique in that some configurations don't require soil for plants to grow. Most are hydroponic, where vegetables are grown in a container of nutrient-rich water, or aeroponics, where plant roots are systematically sprayed with water and nutrients.
Instead of natural sunlight, artificial grow lights are used. From sustainable urban growth to maximizing crop yields with reduced labor costs, the benefits of vertical indoor agriculture are evident. Vertical farming can control variables such as light, humidity and water to measure accurately throughout the year, increasing food production with reliable harvests. Reducing water and energy use optimizes energy conservation: vertical farms use up to 70% less water than traditional farms.
Labor is also significantly reduced through the use of robots to manage harvesting, planting and logistics, which solves the challenge faced by farms due to the current labor shortage in the agricultural industry. Agricultural automation, often associated with “intelligent agriculture”, is a technology that makes farms more efficient and automates the agricultural or livestock production cycle. More and more companies are working on robotic innovation to develop drones, autonomous tractors, robotic harvesters, robots with automatic irrigation and sowing. While these technologies are quite new, the industry has seen an increasing number of traditional agricultural companies adopt agricultural automation in their processes.
As the market has grown dramatically, it has also experienced clear trends in recent years. Modern greenhouses are increasingly using technology and are using LED lights and automated control systems to perfectly adapt the growing environment. Successful greenhouse companies are significantly expanding their cultivation facilities and have located their cultivation facilities close to urban centers to capitalize on the growing demand for local food, regardless of the season. To achieve these feats, the greenhouse industry is also increasingly turning to capital, using venture funds and other sources to build the infrastructure needed to compete in today's market.
Agriculture is undergoing an evolution: technology is becoming an indispensable part of all commercial farms. New precision agriculture companies are developing technologies that allow farmers to maximize yields by controlling all the variables of agriculture, such as humidity levels, pest stress, soil conditions and microclimates. By providing more precise techniques for planting and cultivating, precision agriculture allows farmers to increase efficiency and manage costs. Therefore, it is imperative that everyone who engages in agriculture be aware of all future laws that may affect their current farming methods.
The recent trend in agriculture has meant an increase in organic agriculture, vertical agriculture and intensive agriculture to meet the demands of the growing world population and address the growing concern about environmental problems. .