4 Agricultural Tech Developments That Will Become Helpful This 2021
As this planet becomes more overcrowded, with the world’s population increasing the demand for food, agriculture will become more dependent on technology. Farmers have mouths to feed, and to do so they need to grow crops and raise livestock. Thanks to technological developments, this process is now made easier. The year ahead will witness how Agtech innovations will conquer world hunger and alleviate food insecurity.
Blockchain and Radio-frequency Identification (RFID)
Blockchain works alongside RFID to trace the source of contamination and assure consumers that the produce is grown in sustainable conditions. With blockchain, the source of contamination can be tracked in the supply chain within seconds. For instance, if batches of grown vegetables are already out in the market, and alarm has been notified, only those contaminated will be pulled out. Instead of discarding all crops, a tracing method could recall only the infested crops, so the rest can still be sold.
This is possible because of RFID sensors, which can tag both animals and crops with an ID number, unique for tracking. It stores and collects information to be used by the blockchain. This will help consumers determine whether producers adhere to protocols for health and safety, and to hold farmers accountable.
Advanced hydroponics systems are now challenging the notion of traditional farming. This method doesn’t require land at all, and instead makes use of mineral-rich or electrolyzed water to grow crops. Water-efficiency could reach up to 95%, as opposed to land horticulture. Because of this, fish farms even integrate plan systems to the circulation of water in a method known as aquaponics.
It comes as news to no one that farming is a labor-intensive, painstaking process. So technology came up with a solution: farming drones. These unmanned drones are instrumental due to their satellite imagery, which can create 3D maps that could better inform the farmer about crop cycles. The field data they gather can be collected to help the farmer come up with farming strategies.
Drones can also monitor the health of crops on a daily basis, taking into account the condition of the soil and weather, to ensure optimal time for harvest. They can even determine the exact amount of water that a crop needs. What was done manually with heavy machinery is now assisted by software, for more efficient results. Aside from that, drones can perform many functions such as:
- Crop spraying
- Crop health assessment and monitoring
- Soil analysis
- Automation and Robotics
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will take center stage and dominate harvesting methods. Agriculture professionals at Pinduoduo global even suggest that robot harvesters might replace the majority of hand pickers, because of the long list of things they’re capable of. Most robots are equipped with GPS (so you could locate them), powered by solar panels, and autonomous in nature to operate on their own.
Because of their highly-precise movements, robots are cost-efficient and lessen inaccurate use and measure of herbicide. Plus, robots can work all day, without rest, picking fruits and crops. No doubt, they are far better equipped than humans, with special skills ranging from ripeness sensitivity to weed detection.
Agriculture is breaking away from traditional methods of farming and raising livestock. Technological innovations will make knowledge new again. And as outdated modes of farming become obsolete, we must welcome the promise of a brighter future, where there is food on everyone’s plate.