Agricultural industry is the sector where you can make most of the technological investment. It may seem odd to you. But it’s true.
Let’s talk about facts. AgFunder highlighted a 370% venture capital investment in AgTech since 2013. Moreover, stats indicated a $4.7 billion investment in AgTech in 2019 alone.
All these investments are for a number of technologies for effective farm management and operations. For instance, farmers can make every farming operation from soil management to supply chain management, to harvesting smart. Even marketing of crops also become easy with the use of technology. The only common thing in all these investments is the use of data.
Since we are farmland investors and believe in smart farming, we admire these digital transformations. One of the greatest benefits of these digital transformations is its ability to help in regenerative farming.
Internet of Things (IoT) is playing key role in transforming farm management
IoT technologies are ruling the world now a day. You will see them everywhere from smart homes to manufacturing automation. IoT devices along with web-enabled sensors help in tracking these transformations.
Farmers can use IoT technologies to
- Track Soil moisture
- Monitor production processes, such as irrigation
- Track Soil carbon
- Track Plant growth
- Control amount of water for a specific area
- Track Micronutrient level
- Track Changes in the field environment
Besides, modern farming machinery also features the IoT devices. For instance, modern tractors use IoT technologies to irrigate, spray and harvest.
The use of IoT data in AgTech startups is widespread. You will find many companies in the AgFunder’s portfolio that are taking full advantage of IoT. They are using IoT sensors in every operation from agroforestry to row crops and other livestock operations. However, you can boost the efficiency of IoT.
You just have to pair it with other powerful digital innovations, such as artificial intelligence.
Robotics and drones are new and revitalizing trends in farming
World is using robotics and drones for leisure use for the past several years. But, it’s not their only use. They have transformed the farm operations as well. Although their adoption experience challenges in the start, it has now been widely used in developed countries.
Uses of drones
The two primary purposes for which drones can be used are
- Crop spraying; It is a less proven but potential use of drones in farming. Drones allow farmers to spray only the required amount of pesticides on crops. Thus, they help in avoiding the wastage and over spraying of chemicals.
Moreover, farmers can automate the timing, spraying routes and delivery inputs wit drones. All these operations were difficult to perform in conventional crop spraying.
Another benefit of drone spraying is the prevention of agrochemical wastage. As a result people don’t have to suffer with dangerous diseases due to chemical exposure.
- Crop monitoring and Imaging; drones used for crop monitoring gives overall information about the plant’s health. Moreover, it also alerts the farmers about any expected threat.
Besides drones, robotics are also revolutionizing the agriculture sector. Therefore, various start-ups are focusing on robotic development.
The most common use of robots is to harvest the crops, especially the crops that needs to be picked by hand. Thus, farmers can replace labor to robotics when it comes to harvesting.
The only challenge in the robotics development is the specific needs of each crop.
Modern and data-informed farming with Artificial Intelligence
No doubt, we have discussed diverse and powerful innovative technologies till now. But, you can make these technologies more efficient and robust by combining them with applications that use data and features automations. Such combination technologies allow farmers to be more responsive and sensible. As a result, they will be able to make intelligent decisions.
An example of such an application is artificial intelligence software that are transforming the farming industry.
Artificial intelligence help farmers to solve sudden farming issues due to the physical environment. For instance, farmers may have to experience sudden weather changes, and disturbances in grain markets while purchasing seeds or selling crops. Bess, crops have always been exposed to sudden shocks, such as pest outbreaks, economic crises, floods, droughts, and more.
But farmers with an Al-powered farm management tool don’t need to worry. Such software enables farmers to stay prepared for such events. Moreover, it also optimizes farmer’s performance while tackling with such events.
Development of such software has increased the growth of AgTech industry. Moreover, they are getting wide acceptance in agriculture industry. An example of such widely accepted software are DuPont’s acquisition of Granular and Monsanto’s acquisition of The Climate corporation.
These farm management software are also supported by the virtual assistants that enhance the efficiency of agricultural production systems. Not only this, but the AI has also transformed the farm business management, price risk management, marketing and supply chain management.