Technological innovation is beginning to transform every link in the food chain. In developed countries, digital technology and analytics make farming activities more manageable and efficient.
Precision farming and technological advances in the supply chain can help solve these problems and meet the growing global demand for food, which will lead to a new wave of the agricultural revolution.
The union of agricultural technology and biotechnology
Research in the field of changing plant DNA and increasing food production has become possible through the interaction of BioTech and AgriTech companies. Using software for monitoring and optimizing crops, we can apply these technologies to monitor the health of crops, change plant DNA and find a way to make crops immune to diseases, which limits the overall productivity of crops.
Attracting Millennials to Agriculture
Young farmers will be one of the main factors that will determine how well agriculture handles and accepts the latest AgriTech food-related applications. The industry is faced with the problem of ensuring efficient food production due to the fact that most farms are managed by an older demographic group, which can vary from 40 years and older. If this continues, and if we cannot figure out ways to increase youth interest in agriculture, the pace of introducing new technologies will be difficult, and progress in finding new solutions to existing problems in the industry will be significantly slowed down.
Robotics is getting better and better, and its viability is being studied along the entire value chain in agriculture - from planting and harvesting, to meat processing and food logistics. Last year, John Deere spent $ 305 million on Blue River technology (startup), which makes robots able to identify unwanted plants and spray them with a high-precision herbicide, reducing costs and increasing efficiency. There is also a new demand for robotics as a service, especially when it comes to picking fruit. By 2024, it is predicted that robots will orient the farm for about $ 5.7 billion, which is five times the size of the market in 2016.
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Machine learning and advanced analytics are used to collect data on trends in each sector, and agriculture is no exception. Breeders can use them before planting seeds. Machine learning can predict which traits and genes will be best for crop production, giving farmers the best breed for their location and climate. At the field level, machine learning methods that use satellite data to differentiate crops such as corn and soybeans, providing valuable information for crop insurance, logistics, and product markets. The intersection of robotics and data from an ever-growing farm will further accelerate this trend.
According to experts, from 25% to 50% of farms are in the process or plan to invest in precision farming, using digital technologies in agricultural practice to increase productivity.
Artificial intelligence, related automation tools and innovative monitoring devices located in waterproof cases are designed to improve the farmer's work in tasks such as:
Already developed digital tools for agriculture complete with drones, cameras and sensors for monitoring the growth and health of crops both in small greenhouses and in larger rooms the size of small fields. Tracking technology allows you to create various reports on environmental conditions, plant life and overall growth progress.
Many remote sensing methods, from field sensors to drones and satellite imagery, allow farmers to view their crops from different angles. Thanks to advances in computing and sensor technology, farmers can now access wide coverage with high framing frequency and local detail. All of them provide farmers with up-to-date information in real time, so you can make changes in accordance with their crops.
At the end of 2017, Louis Dreyfus (LDC), one of the world's largest commodity traders, joined forces with ING, ABN Amro and Societe Generale to complete the first agricultural commodity transaction. The prototype was used to complete a deal to ship soybeans from the United States to China. With no paper contracts, certificates, or manual checks, the soybean transaction from a US seller to a Chinese buyer was completed five times faster than paper-based trading using the prototype ING blockchain, which increased transparency and efficiency of the supply chain.
According to experts, the total investment in blockchain-innovative projects in the agricultural industry will grow from USD $ 41.2 million in 2017 to almost USD $ 430 million by 2023.
Blockchain is already changing the way it conducts business in the industry, reducing the risk of fraud, increasing the speed of transactions, helping farmers control and analyze crops, and much more.
Nutrition Peak Harvesting Strategies
Microsoft, the software giant, is now farming. The company has hydroponic farms in the Northwest Pacific, where it is experimenting with a wide range of technologies, such as analysis software, integrated cameras, hydroponic towers, and targeted lighting. Microsoft's agricultural specialists are working to optimize the development of a wide range of food crops. One specific example is a company that produces 6.350 kg (14,000 pounds) of lettuce per year on several small sites.
Microsoft is developing tools for farmers to track growth data, weather conditions, customer transactions, and total food orders to predict how much a farmer needs to grow in one season. So far, their forecasts are 90% accurate. This means that by the end of the season, almost everything that farmers grow is consumed with minimal waste.
Food Supply Tracking
Increased viral attacks have increased the need to more closely monitor and track the assortment of food crops. Although plant growth monitoring technology is making tremendous strides, much remains to be done to track how plants are processed during harvest and delivery to track sources of mass pollution.
Developers are introducing intelligent technologies that use genetic, molecular, or radioisotope labeling to track and evaluate the state of food crops as they move along the supply chain from the field to the shelves of grocery stores. With this type of technology, the food industry can save billions of dollars.
Vertical Farming and Agritechture
The concept is not new, but the ability of manufacturers to refine methodologies makes practice a common occurrence. The challenge for business owners is to create a sustainable business model while reducing overhead costs.
Several companies have already created large vertical farms in the suburbs. Using data science, they produce crops without sunlight or soil. Their moisture-controlled internal farms provide all the nutrients that plants need to grow with absolute precision, without sacrificing the nutritional value of plants in the process. The key advantage of these vertical farms is that they grow food in a safer environment, protected from unstable weather and natural disasters that can affect farms outdoors.
The new term is Agritechture, which combines agriculture, technology and architecture. The owner of the Swedish company built what he calls a food factory in order to produce a huge amount of fresh produce with minimal space and minimum amount of water at the facility intended for the factories.
Its goal is to supply a wide range of organically grown crops with a reduced carbon footprint by solving the problems associated with water waste, energy efficiency, lighting efficiency, space and marketability. Although this indoor model is still being improved, it has long become the standard with which others can measure their indoor farming practices.
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