Agriculture is rapidly evolving. Agriculture technology and digital tech are becoming the new normal on every commercial farm. Farming technology companies are continuing to develop leading-edge applications to maximize yields. These advancements in technology allow for greater precision in all aspects of farming.
This article will consider the top five reasons digital tech works in the ag industry and how agriculture technology is growing and strengthening with these five benefits.
As an agribusiness, digital farming can help you make farm operations sustainable, productive, and profitable by using agriculture technology, like the DTN ClearAg solution.
DTN ClearAg provides a comprehensive suite of proven, purpose-built environmental data, models, and tools that deliver actionable results to your producer customers.
The top five reasons digital tech is working to help grow the agriculture industry include: reduced waste, higher crop yields, lowered costs, reduced labor, and improved planning. Read on to take a closer look at these five benefits and some of the ways they are being realized.
#1. Less waste
Some companies use agriculture technology to help farmers protect their crops from weeds. For example, one company has developed a robot to precisely spray weeds with fertilizers and pesticides. It claims that applying this precision agriculture technology reduces the volume of chemicals needed for spraying by 80 percent.
One startup uses satellite and drone footage to analyze agricultural data. The purpose is to provide early warning of diseases, pests, and a lack of plant nutrition. According to the company, farmers can reduce the fertilizer used by almost 40 percent with the help of their software.
#2. Higher yields
Farmers are ready to embrace digital tech that aims to maximize crop yields. In this receptive climate, agribusinesses are tapping into an enormous growth opportunity.
One such field of opportunity is agricultural biotechnology. One area of its focus is on soil health and soil conditions. For example, microbes take nitrogen from the air and change it into soluble nitrates.
These soluble nitrates are natural fertilizers. Advancements in technology are enabling a deeper understanding of such organisms.
The rapid development of this aspect of digital farming (agricultural biotechnology) is good news for the future of soil health and soil conditions; it promises to have a significant positive impact on future crop yields.
Aside from agricultural biotechnology, other advancements in technology are designed to bring higher yields—for example, crop sensors. Crop sensors can be connected over a network to monitor soil moisture and other vital data related to soil and crop conditions. This information helps farmers to make good planting choices to maximize their crop yield.
There is also the technology behind data modeling. This technology is helping agribusiness produce higher yields for their customers by providing them with the information they need to protect their crops and maximize their yield.
Using this state-of-the-art science leverages enormous amounts of raw data to produce a reliable past-through-future global analysis. Every step, from soil conditions to harvest optimization, works together to get the most of a producer’s land.
#3. Lower costs
Waste is the enemy of good business, especially for farmers. Reducing waste and optimizing operations are key practices to lowering costs.
For example, consider a producer spraying his fields. There is ample opportunity for waste, from drift to overspray where it is not needed.
However, digital tech (specifically the data modeling used by Clear Ag) minimizes drift and reduces overspray. The money spent on spraying is used in a focused and directed way, resulting in improved product application results.
Paying attention to where digital technology creates efficiences allows a farmer to increase his profit margin. From protecting more of his crops from damage to empowering his staff to work at their highest level, digital technology is creating incredible, cost-effective practices for the modern farmer.
#4. Less labor
Due to a global shortage of people working on farms, the benefit to the agriculture industry of innovations that can mean less labor is not simply driven by a desire to lower costs. Instead, it is acknowledging the reality that the labor simply may not bet there and is a development that is necessary to ensure the continuation of the food supply.
A farm that could entirely run without human labor sounds like science fiction, but the reality may not be as far away as you might think. Picture a farm being run with factory-like precisions by robots planting and harvesting and drones spraying and monitoring from the air. There are lots of companies and organizations whose innovations could make this prospect a future reality.
Data modeling can also be used to determine field accessibility. For example, optimizing those key working windows allow operations to be streamlined and maximizes those operational efficiences. It makes the most of the staffing that you have and allows them to work at the best time for greater results.
#5. Better planning
The success of a farm is not dependent on one factor alone, but rather it depends on carefully coordinating all the many different factors well. Therefore, tasks need to be prioritized, scheduled, and coordinated correctly.
Farm management computer software and applications greatly facilitate this process. It is much easier to coordinate your farming activity when you can access all the required details in the same application.
Farm management systems are especially beneficial on large farms with many employees. When all can communicate and understand their work with the help of an app, this keeps things ticking nicely.
Digital tech is undoubtedly helping the ag industry in the ways mentioned above. However, those examples only scratch the surface of what is already happening and will happen in the future. No doubt, the agricultural industry will continue to adopt digital tech, and that this alliance will continue to benefit individual farmers.
Digital farming can help you to make your farm sustainable, productive, and profitable by using agricultural technology, like the DTN ClearAg solution.
DTN ClearAg provides agribusinesses with a comprehensive suite of proven, purpose-built environmental data, models, and tools that deliver actionable results today.