The Future of Farming: Predictions in Agriculture
By 2050, the world's population is expected to rise to approximately 9.7 billion. To produce enough food, agriculture processes will have to embrace innovative technology.
Food production will need to increase by almost 60% to meet the projected demand. This significant demand needs to be met while lowering greenhouse gas emissions. And increasing sustainability.
So, how will farming change? With innovative technology, there are many predictions for the future of farming. Keep reading to learn more about the most important ones.
Robotics: The Future of Farming
Until now, farmers have been under the impression that bigger is better. Especially when it comes to farming machinery. They've made it a priority to invest in big, expensive machines, like tractors. Most that rely on humans to operate.
Advancements in robotics are now presenting an effective alternative to replace traditional methods.
The goal is to replace the need for using one expensive machine to perform a specific task. Agriculture company AGCO is developing new technology that employs the use of smaller, automated machines referred to as "robot swarms".
This new technology will replace traditional methods by using groups of smaller, automated machines. These machines will have the capability to perform tasks without a human operator.
This new tech will increase productivity and serve as a much more reliable tool. If a tractor breaks down, farmers experience downtime while it gets fixed.
If one of the robots breaks down, downtime is minimal. As there are numerous others performing the same task.
Another major innovation alongside robotics is the development of cutting-edge sensor technology.
In the next few years, experts predict smart sensors will revolutionize farming. These sensors will automatically test soil quality, water levels, and temperature requirements.
Sensor tech will offer a way for farmers to better understand the health and vitality of their crops. And provide a tool to predict and mitigate problems before they arise.
Experts predict that as sensor technology develops even further, the robots will have the capacity to use data analytics to predict weather changes. Allowing farmers to make any necessary process updates in real-time.
This technology already exists on a smaller scale. But dramatic advancements are expected in automation technology over the next few decades.
Developments in data analytics are already changing the landscape of the agriculture industry.
Both AGCO and Farmer's Edge are making huge leaps toward investing in big data. Advanced analytics can improve crop yields and reduce waste.
The tech uses sensor technology to gather required data. Then, innovative analytics systems monitor soil conditions, weather patterns, crop yield information, and potential pest risks.
Having this information ahead of time will allow farmers to anticipate problems, change their procedures, and mitigate risk. This will reduce potential impediments to harvests
Data collection has been part of the industry for years. Especially on a smaller and more isolated scale. Innovations in big data analytics are setting the stage for game-changing results.
The capability of big data analytics can drastically improve crop yields. Especially for developing countries. Big data helps farmers better manage fertilization processes, pest control and increase yield.
More research is required before the industry will know just how much sensors and data analytics will improve productivity. But studies done so far are promising.
A direct benefactor of sensor tech and big data is precision farming. Precision techniques have been used in the
industry for some time now. But industry experts believe that improving the procedure is the way of the future.
Limited water availability and climate change are huge challenges for the agriculture industry. New advancements in precision technology can help farmers can stay ahead of the curve.
The main principle of precision farming is to make crops work better, not harder. Using sensors and data analytics, farmers can now monitor crop growth using satellite technology.
Precision farming technology allows farmers to understand specific requirements of each unique crop.
One industry leader, Blue River Technology, is developing a system called the LettuceBot. The system uses cameras, computers, and precision-sprayers to precisely water lettuce plants.
Precision farming techniques are expected to be adopted on a wide scale over the next few decades. This is likely due to their efficiency and positive environmental impact.
Gene splicing technologies like CRISPR are set to revolutionize the agriculture industry. CRISPR is cutting-edge gene-editing technology. The technique is able to edit genes without adding any foreign DNA whatsoever.
Recent years have shown a general shift towards a more health-conscious attitude in consumers. There is now an increasing demand for more variety in plant-based food options.
Gene editing technologies provide an alternative to the frowned upon processes of GMO. Especially for developing new plant varieties.
This innovative tech is not only promising for the development of new plant varieties. But it's also intended to create crops that are more disease-resistant, capable of thriving with limited water and under harsher soil conditions.
Meat consumption rates are slowly dropping as seen in the U.S, Canada, and the U.K. over the past few years. Roughly one-third of people in the United Kingdom have reduced or completely cut out meat.
Most agree that livestock production will never entirely disappear. However, some experts predict that innovations in cultured (lab-grown) meats could see a spike over the next few decades.
The Almanac's Final Word
The future of farming will undoubtedly see drastic changes over the next few decades. The industry has no choice. Food production needs to increase to feed the ever-growing population.
Sustainability efforts need to improve to keep the world inhabitable. The only way the industry will be able to keep up with the increasing demand is to embrace new and innovative technology.
Luckily, there are a lot of smart people working hard to make it happen. Visit our blog to stay up to date on new innovations happening in the farming industry.