Bottom line: Technology is changing farming and the whole agriculture value chain; this is good news for the farmer, retailer, and the consumer!
From drones firing seedlings across a vast farm area to self-driving tractors tilling the soil or harvesting massive tracts of wheat effortlessly, tech entrepreneurs are happily partnering with farmers to redefine agriculture in a mutually beneficial way.
Using revolutionary tools and computer chips-powered devices in all kinds of farm scenarios is just the tip of the iceberg; there is more, so much more!
Because data is now a precious commodity famously called ‘the new oil,’ farmers are happy to shell out a considerable quantity of their budget to acquire such intelligence geared towards precision farming.
Artificial Intelligence and the modern farmer
Deploying aerial imagery and GPS technology, a farmer in Cape Town can quickly tell where to concentrate more effort, how much rain the clouds will release, how much fertiliser to plan for, and more.
Similarly, electromagnetic soil mapping has contributed to reducing waste, cut cost, and significantly improve yield while, at the same time, increasing efficiency in the whole value chain.
Precise data about activities happening at the same time over thousands of hectares of farmland is the new normal.
Data sourced from specially crafted algorithms and statistical models are being applied across farms to significantly reduce lost working hours which, in turn, aims to eliminate redundancy and inefficiencies along the way.
Whether on lettuce farms, strawberry plantation, or open-field cattle grazing fields, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are playing significant roles to help farmers get the best out of their crops, animals, and the land itself.
For instance, AI can crunch thousands of historical data points, analyse them in an instant, and produce trends or predictions covering many aspects that will impact on better farm productivity.
Such an advanced technology can predict future behaviour and reveal hidden patterns the human mind cannot comprehend in such a short period.
It can show the farmer crucial information like soil health, precise yield expectations, rapid weather changes, among others, through mobile applications on a smartphone.