The agriculture industry is the backbone of society, providing sustenance to millions of people every day. But like so many industries, agriculture is being changed and shaped by the rise of technology. The change has been swift; while the ag industry invested about $500 million into technology back in 2012, that number ballooned to $2.6 billion in only five years.
Of course, agritech has been a blessing for the farmers and ag retailers that have embraced it. The new technology in agriculture allows farmers to manage their crops better, maximize their land and water resources, and consistently produce better-valued crops. For farmers, the key to succeeding in today’s ag industry is simple: learn how to utilize this tech to your advantage.
Benefits of Utilizing Agriculture Technology
Agricultural technology has long been changing the way the industry farms: gas tractors, mechanical pickers, and even genetically engineered seeds have led to dramatic shifts in the way agriculture operates today. So, how can today’s farmers and ag retailers benefit from new tech? Here are a few examples:
According to the UN, the world population is expected to grow by 2 billion people by 2050, bringing the global total to an incredible 9.7 billion. All these people will need a lot of food, which means the ag industry will need to do more with the resources they have.
Feeding a growing population will require careful planning and effective crop management – and luckily, there is developing ag tech designed to do that. Ag retailers can now use management software to help their farmer plan their crops, assess risks, and maximize their yields.
In the ag industry, more output means more input. If a farmer plants more crops, they will need more water, fertilizer, and pesticides. Those additional costs can hurt the bottom line.
Agritech can help farmers better plan their growing patterns. This results in high-yield crops that make the most of their fertilizer, water, and available space – resulting in lower farming costs overall. With proper planning, farmers can reduce resource waste, and ag retailers can distribute resources to more clients.
Safer Growing Conditions
Much of the ag industry today is concerned with sustainability. How can farmers continue to provide without risking damage to their land (and the planet at large)? Ag retailers and farmers have to make smart decisions about their growing conditions, from pesticides to crop rotation.
Agritech can help make those smart decisions. Thanks to apps and software that collect and analyze data, farmers and ag retailers can assess the risks of different crops, different rotations, and even different soil compositions. By analyzing these risks first, farmers can be confident that their efforts will pay off in the field.
Technology to Implement on the Farm
There is a wide variety of ag technologies emerging in the market today, and all of it benefits the ag industry. However, the specific technology that will help a farmer’s fields depends on their unique needs.
Do they need help keeping up with rising demand? How about if they want to treat their soil more effectively for maximum yield? Here are just a few of the popular agritech solutions that help on the farm:
There is a new push toward automation and remote machinery. Products like crop-spraying drones and self-driving tractors can help farmers accomplish more in a day, easing their workload while boosting productivity – resulting in a more bountiful crop.
Many automated farm products use Wi-Fi, allowing growers even greater freedom; for example, they can send out drones to spray their crops or turn on their irrigation system from their smartphone. These developments can make a massive difference for overworked farmers, particularly as demand increases over time.
Another popular ag technology is GPS-soil sampling. These new tools can help farmers determine soil quality in each region of their field.
This helps farmers determine where to plant their crops and focus their fertilizer to improve soil quality. With GPS-based soil sampling, farmers can carefully target fertilizer use, effectively minimizing wasteful use and lowering the overall cost. This shift can make a big difference in a farm’s annual expenses.
Grower Management Apps & Software
The agriculture business isn’t just about the work of growing. It also involves developing and maintaining relationships: ag retailers with their farmers, farmers and animal processing plants, etc.
Grower relationship management software allows ag retailers to keep the business side of the farm in one place. This kind of software makes it easy to have conversations online, plan out meetings, analyze the potential impact recommendations will have before suggesting them, and more — all through a simple system you can carry with you. The customer management software enables ag retailers and growers to manage their business relationships easily.
The Future of Agritech
The ag industry is always shifting, and today’s agritech is just another sign of the changing times. But for ag retailers and farmers, this tech represents the dawn of a new era: one that could mean more crops, better harvests, higher sales, and easier workdays. If you ask us, that is a future that any ag worker would look forward to.