Agriculture’s Reach for SuperAbundance

Agriculture’s Reach for SuperAbundance

Precision agriculture is a method of farming that uses innovative technologies to improve farming performance. Its purpose is to increase overall yields, measure site performance, predict and react to weather conditions, and ultimately increase the sustainability of any farm. The related technologies are becoming more and more prevalent in the industry, as it is an essential concept moving forward. But why is it so important? 

Between now and 2050, the planet’s population will rise to 9.7 billion from the current 7.3 billion. Agriculture production will have to increase 70% to meet the projected demand for food. How is this possible without putting excessive strain on the earth’s soils and oceans? The solution: improve farming yields. 

The idea for precision agriculture originated in the 1990s with GPS and satellite technology, but as technology is advancing like never before, the applications are endless. One of the first innovations in the field was John Deere’s GPS fitted tractor. It gave farmers the ability to locate a tractor anywhere on the planet, within a few centimeters of precision. The technology prevented repeat passes and missed patches in the fields, reducing fuel costs by up to 40%. Fertilizer, herbicide, and pesticides were more equally distributed, thus creating more effective results and a better yield. 

Today’s precision agriculture is focused on data. It uses technology called ‘cyber physical systems,’ which add computing and networking capabilities to physical processes or objects. Sensors help to collect and create data on the health, growth, and quality of crops and livestock. Software analyzes the data to create automations, insights, and decisions for the farmer. 

The precision agriculture technology out there right now is quite impressive. CiBo Technologies has designed a software for farmers to create “virtual fields” using inputs from the real world. It’s almost like a video game where you can simulate your farm’s supply chain risks, crop requirements, and crop response to pests. The system outputs suggestions for how to better optimize the field in real life. 

aWhere is another company who has created a global network of over 1.5 million virtual weather stations to provide daily observed and hourly forecast information. A very useful tool for farmers without access to extensive weather data. 

AgriWebb has developed a software for “full farm record keeping in your pocket, on the go, and offline.” It gives farmers the power to track feed, fertilizer, chemicals, livestock, and equipment. The system provides farmers with valuable insights into their operations so they can improve yields. 

At A4 Systems, we have created our own precision agriculture solution. A cyber physical system to manage the health and well being of livestock. It reliably alerts farmers to indicators of illness up to 7 days before visible symptoms can be seen. Its RFID monitoring technology gives significant improvements to traceability and profitability of the feedlot, leading to better overall yields.

Precision agriculture tools are essential to the future demand of farming. The optimization and automation benefits from cyber physical systems are the best way to tackle the need for higher yields; thus preparing for a world of 9.7 billion people.