The way we farm has changed drastically since we first started over 10,000 years ago thanks to technology. Advancements in technology have allowed farmers to produce more products efficiently and at a better quality for consumers. Let’s go through some of the technology that is even changing how we farm today:
Sometimes called “smart farming”; this is the technology that is making autonomous (or self-driving) tractors, drones, robotic harvesters, seeding robots, and more. Farm automation is changing how we farm by helping with the current labor shortage while decreasing the environmental footprint farming has created.
Cattle tracking is adding sensors to livestock to better monitor their health and productivity in hopes to increase it. Constant monitoring of herds provides farmers with the ability to detect any sick animals quickly and provides helpful insights, such as which cows might not be eating properly or even pregnancy hormones.
These machines have greatly improved in the past couple of years and are used for better efficiency. Drones can take high-quality images of fields and livestock, allowing farmers to better manage and monitor their crops and animals. Some drones can cover 400 acres in a 45-minute flight. To learn more about how drones are affecting the agricultural industry read, Agricultural Drones: How Drones Are Revolutionizing Agriculture and How to Break into this Booming Market.
Blockchain technology helps farmers track their products from the field to fork and helps create transparency of where food comes from. This technology also helps in solving food fraud and safety recall issues. Supply chains have become more efficient too, thanks to blockchain technology.
Indoor Vertical Farming
When you think of farming you probably think of miles and miles of fields, but now farming can mean produce stacked one above another. Vertical farming is done in a closed and controlled environment, typically close to or in urban areas where space is limited. These types of farms also can use up to 70% less water and use less energy than traditional farming methods.
Although greenhouses and vertical farming are both inside facilities, they have some major differences. Greenhouses still grow their plants and crops horizontally and mostly rely on sunlight, but modern ones have started to use LED lights and automated control systems to create the perfect growing environment, similar to vertical farming. Greenhouses are becoming more large-scaled and focused on serving the urban areas to fulfill the demand of local and fresh food all year round. Learn about the past, present, and future of greenhouses from just being a botanical garden to feeding America.
Internet of Things (IoT). That is being connected to everything at once and being able to monitor multiple aspects of your farm from the palm of your hand. The problem with modern technology is the lack of reliable and high-speed internet to accommodate technology, especially in rural America. Check out Smart farming in 2020: How IoT sensors are creating a more efficient precision agriculture industry for more information.
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