Technological innovation has created a revolution in farming, led by advances in robotics and sensing technologies.
We are proud to announce our first WTCPB Virtual Trade Show "Technology In Agriculture," bringing together the companies that are changing the face of agriculture. This virtual exposition will showcase products, services and equipment that improve farming through the use of new and exciting products and services.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that 20–40% of global crop yields are lost each year to pests and diseases despite the application of around two-million tons of pesticide. Intelligent devices, such as robots and drones, could allow farmers to slash agrichemical use by spotting crop enemies earlier to allow precise chemical application or pest removal. Drones, mounted with multispectral cameras, will take off every morning before the farmer gets up, and identify where within the field there is a pest or a problem. As well as visible light, cameras are able to collect data from the invisible parts of the electromagnetic spectrum that could allow farmers to pinpoint a fungal disease, for example, before it becomes established.
Companies are already supplying drones and software that use near-infrared images to map patches of unhealthy vegetation in large fields. Images can also reveal potential causes, such as pests or problems with irrigation. Drone data from crop fields are now using machine learning to train its systems to differentiate between crops and weeds!
Modern technology that can autonomously eliminate pests and target agrichemicals better will reduce collateral damage to wildlife, lower resistance and cut costs.
Drones can apply pesticides from the air. Rather than spraying a whole field, the pesticide could be delivered to the right spot in the quantity needed. The potential reductions in pesticide use are impressive. Current research hopes that robots in the near future will do away with chemicals altogether by locating and blasting weeds close to crops with a laser.
As global temperatures rise and weather patterns become harder to predict, farmers are looking to technological innovation to adapt. The close correlation between agricultural processes and natural conditions makes climate change a key consideration for farmers.
Some are seeking protection from the elements with the help of enhanced greenhouses and vertical farming setups that can grow indoor crops year-round. Others are using “smart farming” tools like big data, the internet of things, and the cloud to navigate climate-related challenges. Combining sensors with data analytics can give farmers insight into soil quality and a lead on variables like temperature, water, light, and humidity. Drones allow farmers to survey large swatches of land more quickly and then use this advanced data to help optimize fertilizer levels and potentially improve crop yields.
Technology in agriculture is shaping the future of food, making it possible to feed the world in ways that are more equitable, healthy, and sustainable.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: William A. Kulok, Virtual Trade Show Managing Director. Bill cofounded New York Management Center, which produced over 1000 seminars, conferences, and trade shows worldwide in association with leading universities, consulting firms and publishers including The Wharton School, The University of Chicago, Cal Berkeley, NYU, Arthur D Little and McGraw Hill. email: firstname.lastname@example.org