The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United States predicted a world population of 9.1 billion by 2050. And looking at the current scenario of the agriculture industry, food production needs to be increased by almost 75% to feed the entire population.
Thankfully, we have already started introducing innovative tools and smart technologies to the farming industry.
Let’s look at some of the smart automation that are transforming the farming world. Experts have high hopes that these systems will revolutionize the agricultural industry and lead to “Farming 2.0”.
7 Smart Automations that Transform Farming
- Agricultural drones
When it comes to crop health assessment, irrigation, crop monitoring, crop spraying, planting, soil and field analysis, and other related areas, agriculture has emerged as one of the leading industries integrating ground-based and aerial drones.
This technology in Farming not only aims to improve large-scale farming operations, but it may also benefit emerging agricultural trends like sustainable Farming, family farming, breeding of specific cattle, organic Farming, etc., and improve transparent Farming.
- Precision based Farming
Precision farming can be defined as anything that makes Farming more organized and precise. The use of smart automation technology, such as sensors, control systems, robotics, autonomous vehicles, automated hardware, variable rate technology(VRI), etc., is a key component in this type of farm management approach.
For instance, producing a high-quality cotton crop requires considerable accuracy since cotton is a sensitive plant. The slightest adjustments can have a significant impact on yields. While you have no control over the weather, an automation solution such as Padman Stops gives you control over the water flow.
It turns on and off precisely every time to get the right amount of water. Is it raining too much? Or the risk of flooding? You can quickly drain that extra water off with their devices to save your crops.
Furthermore, with advanced automation, everything can be done remotely with a button on your smartphone, tablet, or computer, freeing you up to do other things.
- Driverless tractors
The tractor is the workhorse in Farming, performing various jobs depending on the farm’s specific setup. In addition, tractors are expected to be significantly benefited from autonomous driving technology.
Although, there will still be a need for human input in the beginning phases while creating field and boundary maps, determining the optimal field paths through planning software, and establishing other operational conditions.
However, cameras and machine vision systems, GPS, IoT connectivity for remote monitoring, radar and LiDAR for object detection and avoidance, and other sensors will help autonomous tractors become more capable and self-sufficient over time.
- Keeping track of livestock
Farmers can monitor their livestock remotely from their phones or computers using data gathered from collars placed on livestock and cameras installed in the fields. Putting tags on cattle allows farmers to receive updates on the animals’ well-being and reproduction patterns.
- Precision seeding
Both the depth at which seeds are planted and the distance at which plants are spaced are critical factors in ensuring successful seeding and subsequent plant growth. Farmers are increasingly using precision seeders in combination with autonomous tractors and IoT-enabled systems that provide feedback. With just one person watching a video feed or digital control dashboard, a whole field could be planted automatically.
- Imaging and planting
Drones equipped with cameras can now produce images at minimal costs. However, innovations in image technology have made visible light and still photography outdated.
Today, cameras can take standard, infrared, ultraviolet, and hyperspectral images. These cameras can also record videos. The value of “high” in these “high-resolution cameras” keeps rising. All these imaging methods allow farmers to collect more precise data, improving their ability to monitor crop health, assess soil quality, and plan crop areas to optimize resources and land use.
- Spraying on crops
Smart drones are already commercially accessible and are being developed specifically for agricultural spraying applications, which allows automating yet another labor-intensive operation.
These drones, used for spraying crops, are equipped with GPS, laser measuring, and ultrasonic tracking, allowing them to readily adjust for factors like wind speed, topography, and geography. As a result, drones can spray on crops more precisely and with less waste.
Smart automation is bringing a revolutionary change in the agricultural industry.
Sensors, control systems, robotics, autonomous vehicles, automated hardware, variable rate technology, etc., play a significant role in achieving the target of better production with less manual labor.
Scientists and engineers are working hard to make these technologies available to every big and small farmer by making them easy to use and cost-effective.