Technology is accelerating geometrically in the world today, without the exclusion of any sphere of human life. Notably, in the agricultural field, technology continues to change how farmers perform their operations as new and useful machinery, functional software, and genetic improvements enable farmers to gain more control over plants and livestock.
And with the help of safety tools such as welding helmets, engineering professionals can likewise successfully manufacture tools and machinery needed on the farm. Agriculture is now more comfortable, cost-effective, and generally more yielding, thanks to the ever-rising technology and the farmers who embraced it accordingly. Here are the five latest technologies that have revolutionized agriculture and still continue to do so.
1. Weather Detection and Tracking
Weather is an essential factor which controls planting season and also determines how crops fare. Local meteorologists doing what they know how to do best isn’t a new thing. But the fact is that computerized weather modelings and tracking become increasingly sophisticated daily.
With the help of online weather services primarily focused on agriculture, farmers can get informed of impending weather conditions, especially unfavorable conditions like frost, hail, etc. They can, therefore, take precautionary measures and protect their crops or minimize losses substantially.
2. Soil Water Sensors
Soil and water sensors are long-lasting, inconspicuous, and affordable equipment that instantly affect the soil water level. As their names imply, these sensors can detect soil water content and thereby be used for irrigation planning and water management. For accurate measurements, farmers can also utilize the soil temperature sensor for soil temperature calibration. Farmers can also use near-infrared sensors to detect soil nitrogen levels.
Knowing all these critical soil properties will make farming easier for farmers. They’ll be able to use this information to know when to fertilize and water plants instead of vaguely depending on unreliable records, which results in high-efficient use of resources and reduction in the production cost. Farmers will also reduce erosions and the presence of organic fertilizers in aquatic environments, which can cause environmental hazards.
3. Satellite and Drone Imagery
Satellites cover more than communication alone; they can also be used amply in the agricultural realm. Satellites can capture relevant crop conditions over a broad range of land, such as thousands of square meters. Farmers can, therefore, utilize satellite data to monitor crops’ growth, fertilizer application, and biomass mapping.
Similarly, drone technology can help farmers determine plant height, presence of weeds, and water saturation on particular field areas with high accuracy. Drones deliver optimal and more precise images than satellites, and they’re faster than scouts when they’re locally operated. Another application of drone technology is in insect control.
They can be easily used to apply insecticide on the affected farm areas without inducing direct exposure, causing chemical poisoning. A significant disadvantage of drones, however, is that they’re not easily affordable. Though they’re simple to use and can collect extensive data in a short period, many farmers might not be able to afford them easily. They’re also not advisable for large farming areas and can be complemented together with satellite imagery for accurate results.
4. Minichromosome Technology
Genetic engineering is undergoing positive technology events, and geneticists are discovering new ways of breeding and improving crops. One of such intriguing and most recent technologies which offer vast benefits for agriculture is the minichromosome technology. Minichromosomes are small structures within plant cells that contain tiny genetic material but can hold extensive information.
Plant geneticists can thereby stack many favorable genes and desirable traits such as those involved with herbicide tolerance, pest and drought resistance, and increased growth in desired plants. Favorably, this technology doesn’t alter the plants’ original chromosomes; they’re well intact. Hence, farmers and consumers as well can embrace this beneficial technological advent.
5. Blockchain Technology
Popularly known in the cryptocurrency finance, agriculturalists uniquely incorporate blockchain technology in the agriculture world. Most notably, commercial farmers can use the blockchain technology to record and update their crops’ status from harvesting period to delivery.
They can adequately monitor all the crops on their farms with the secure and highly accurate ledger associated with the blockchain technology. Farmers can also effectively utilize the blockchain for resource management, track sensors and equipment, and maintain precise machinery records.
Agriculture plays a principal role in the growth and development of any nation. Apart from being the sole source of food, it also provides raw materials and employment opportunities.
Therefore, it should lead to other spheres in technological advancements. And fortunately, the world is rising to this challenge. Hopefully, agriculture would be more accessible, comfortable, and maximally utilized, many years to come.