The agriculture industry is greatly benefiting from the development of big data and AI. The world population is expected to reach 9.8 billion people by the year 2050, which will increase the amount of food the industry needs to produce. Rising challenges including droughts, unpredictable climate changes, unhealthy soil, crop losses and loss of agricultural land are just some of the issues influencing the amount of food being produced. With the power of big data and AI, there is hope for the future of agriculture.
The industry is leaning heavily on the implementation and development technologies to support the growing population. Agriculture experts are committed to help bring these technologies to market and help farmers increase productivity and profitability. While big data and AI is a multifaceted concept, farmland management, pesticide use optimization and farm equipment management are three of the heavy hitters shaping the future of agriculture.
Increasing yields while also considering soil health is a balancing act. With continuous monitoring of weather patterns and soil health, big data and AI technologies provide farmers with the data needed to make informed decisions. Water input can be adjusted and harvest times considered, which in turn will optimize the yield. The use of drone technologies in surveying land can detect crop issues in a timely manner. This around-the-clock monitoring decreases crop loss and ultimately saves time and money while increasing yields.
Optimizing Pesticide Use
The use of conventional pesticides is a controversial topic because of their potential impact on human health and the environment. Big data and AI make it easier for growers to optimize pesticide usage, which lessens the amount of inputs needed. AI algorithms analyze data to predict when pests appear before damage occurs on crops. Spart spraying technology uses image acquisition and target detection to only spray when weeds are detected. This complex system uses GPS data and “weed mapping” for future use.
Farm Equipment Management
Livestock farming equipment including automatic feeders, milking and cleaning systems are just some of the equipment used on farms today. Self-driving tractors, automatic harvesters, and autonomous seeding and weeding are other examples of incredible innovation within the industry. These machines have to be managed for optimal use. Farm management systems allow farmers to remotely control and track machinery. Algorithms process and analyze data, which reduces unnecessary routes and lowers fuel cost.
The Future of Agriculture
Big data and AI are changing the face of the agriculture industry dramatically. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Innovation Agenda is working to increase production by 40 percent by 2050 to meet demands for food, fuel, feed and fiber. This can only be done with the implementation of new technologies that optimize productivity. The cooperation of innovators, farmers, ranchers and agriculture experts is essential to develop, support and integrate big data and AI into farms around the world. These cutting-edge technologies offer precise forecasts, real-time monitoring and data-driven decision-making tools that can revolutionize farming practices, from seed selection to crop rotation and irrigation management. Embracing this technological revolution and fostering an environment conducive to innovation will be key in shaping a more resilient, sustainable and productive agriculture sector for future generations.