Digital Farming = More Efficient Farming & Safer Harvests?

Those in agriculture are aware of the considerable dilemma faced in the future: how will we feed the predicted 9 billion people expected to occupy our earth by the year 2050? The future of agriculture will be increased productivity, and farmers will master that through digital farming. 

DTN is excited to offer ClearAg as one of our agricultural digital farming tools. ClearAg is a comprehensive suite of proven, purpose-built environmental data, models, and tools that deliver actionable results for our partners. We utilize over 20 years of insight to give you the power to be a leader in the agricultural industry. 

Just beginning to understand how digital farming may benefit you and yield profit and safety for the consumer? We will provide you with a better understanding of how this technology can help you in more ways than you may have been aware. 

Data flying behind tractor

I’d like some more information about digital farming

If digital farming seems overwhelming, you are certainly not alone. Technology is overwhelming for all when they don’t understand the benefits. 

Digital tools and data are not meant to harm you or cause you frustration but help you and make life easier. Digital farming is the future of agriculture, so how can you best work with it rather than against it? 

Digital farming is tailored to the farmer’s individual needs. Images from satellites and drones can provide information on a crop’s health or whether a yield is impacted by disease or drought. Sensors on tractors and in the soil can tell us about the condition and nutrient level. 

Weather information is available to the farmer. All of this data provides insight and helps the farmer make crucial decisions regarding what they will do with crops. Better protection can be offered for crops, and farmers know when to plant, where, and if a crop will be successful, so nothing is wasted. 


How does digital farming make agriculture more cost efficient? 

One example of the future of agriculture is satellite imaging. Many farmers are using satellite imaging to make their farms more cost-effective. 

Farmers can review an image of their fields in the morning and see what fields need attention that day. Through digital farming, they receive highlighted imaging of areas that are damaged. For large farms, it is highly beneficial as it would be impossible for a human to survey for crop damage by hand or eye as computer imaging can. 

Once imaging identifies the damage, the farmer can decide if it is worth repair economically or call it a loss. It may not be worth spending money on crop and fertilizer costs if the damage is extensive. 

Farmers may better spend money on a crop fertilized in another area in a different part of the field or another crop altogether. Farmers are better able to put their money into a crop that will grow for-profit or spend energy and time in that agricultural area. 

Another example is precision agriculture. Farmers input information such as soil type, the amount of fertilizer used, and the day they planted the crop. The software then provides the farmer with information such as when a crop will be at a particular stage and the expected growth yield. In the end, it can save the farmer cost by not missing prime harvesting opportunities. 

Aerial shot of cornfield

Does digital farming yield safer harvests? 

An exciting advancement in the future of agriculture is the safety of our plants. Technology looks at how genetics factor into plants. Researchers are looking into how we can improve plants genetically. 

Advancements are being made to develop what is considered “genetically ideal” traits in plants quickly and then replicate those plants for a higher yield. 

Farming by drone is also making its impact on a safer crop. Agricultural drones are not new; they have been around for over two decades. However, the new drones can survey crops in real-time and identify precise field conditions. The information tells farmers necessary interventions such as crops needing specific fertilizers, nutrients, pesticides, and where they are required. 

So not only does the new drone technology offer information on where to intervene, but it allows us to eliminate where we do not need to intervene so we can reduce the use of pesticides in some areas and reduce cost waste wherever necessary. 

We talked a little about weather technology. It is likely evident that predicting the weather makes it safe for the farmer when planning for any deviations from the norm and can also help predict crop and harvest yields. Farmers can better optimize crops and prepare for both best and worst-case scenarios with digital farming technology. 

It is important to note that digital farming shows a promise for the future in feeding our third-world countries. Much of our growing population is located in countries where they do not have the industrialized technology we are so fortunate to benefit from having access to in developed nations. We are paving the way for these nations to have a path to use the information as access to technology continues to grow in these countries. 

Corn seedling with data

Where can I find out more information about the future of agriculture?

Digital farming has been around for some time, but it is only just breaking the surface with what it can do for the future of agriculture. DTN is proud to be a part of this future with ClearAg. 

What is ClearAg? A solution, bringing meteorological expertise, land and surface agronomical modeling, and adaptive data processing that utilizes over 20 years of insight to give you the power to be a leader in the agricultural industry.

If you have more questions on how digital farming can be a part of your future, get in touch with us today!