It’s almost impossible to comprehend new technology before it becomes a reality. For example, if you’ve been around long enough to watch the old cartoon, The Jetsons, as a child, you might remember that the characters used video calls to communicate. At the time, this seemed completely implausible. But, of course, technology has advanced and now we have video calling capabilities in the palm of our hand, no matter where we go in the world.
What once seemed like a far-out idea has become part of our everyday lives. The same thing is happening in the farming industry.
The Impact of Digital Agriculture
Over the last 100 years, new advancements like hybridization and DNA sequencing have transformed the world of farming. Mike Stern, CEO at The Climate Corporation, believes that digital agriculture will be the next wave of technology to impact the industry. In an article for Precision Ag, he said, “I firmly believe digital agriculture, driven by the application of data science to new and ever-evolving data sets, will transform the future of farming in more profound ways than hybrid corn and biotechnology changed farming in the 20th century. Digital agriculture can catalyze new opportunities to improve productivity, manage risk, and farm more sustainably – all of which we will need to help feed the unrefuted 2 billion new inhabitants our planet will have by 2050.”
Stern is not alone in these thoughts. George Kantor, a robotics engineer at Carnegie Mellon University told Nature, “There is the potential for intelligent robots to change the economic model of farming so that it becomes feasible to be a small producer again.”
Already, new technologies are being rolled out around the world, helping farmers work more efficiently to raise profits. For example, one organic farmer in North Macedonia is using new software designed to help her better plan and monitor her crops, therefore spending less on gas and fertilizer.
Similarly, the increase in agriculture-specific apps is enticing a new generation of young adults to explore a career in farming. And, as we talked about earlier this year, new drone technology is changing the way farmers approach pollination.
There’s almost no limit to how technology can influence the growth of the agriculture industry in the coming decades. However, we must remain open to the possibilities, even if they seem incomprehensible at the time. After all, an idea that seems far-fetched today, could be an integral part of our lives tomorrow.
Keep checking back here as we talk about new advances in digital agriculture as they emerge.