Technologies such as drones and robots have the potential to revolutionise agriculture, allowing farmers to use resources more efficiently
Precision is coming to agriculture, brought by drones, satellites, data and GPS-guided machinery, taking some of the grind and uncertainty out of an industry that has changed little since seeds were first pushed into the ground by hand and doused with water.
“The big news is the technology movement,” says Ulrich Adam, secretary general of the European Agricultural Machinery Industry Association. “The technology allows greater precision and greater outcomes for everyone. Farmers are very open to this technology; they like anything that has demonstrable benefits.”
This new use of technology provides farmers with real-time information that allows them to respond to potential problem areas in their fields. “They are using fewer resources, such as fuel, pesticides and water,” Adam says. “There are benefits for the farmer, such as easier working conditions. Farmers are able to produce more; the yield is greater.”
According to some estimates, agriculture is responsible for one-third of global warming emissions, so increased efficiency is critical. Farmers are also being increasingly affected by climate change, having to react to changing weather patterns and increased drought.
Advice, not just data
"Precision agriculture is enabling a more sustainable agriculture industry by allowing growers to significantly scale back fertiliser applications," says Farmers Edge, a...