If you go to the farm today, you will probably find it managed by iPhone, iPad and other mobile devices.
If you go to the farm today, you will probably find it full of sensors, drones and remote management systems managed by iPhone, iPad and other mobile devices.
A new agriculture
In fact, we are just a short Siri or two from voice-controlled farms, equipped with remote-controlled irrigation solutions, animal and crop breeding, and life-cycle analysis tools for blockchain-based crops.
Most of this technology exists, but the costs limit the implementation.
Leading the digital transformation of agriculture are applications such as: Agrellus, an online market for agriculture, Xarvio Scouting application for better crop management, FieldNET Mobile for remote water pivot control, Yara ImageIT, which transforms the iPhone in a crop nutrient testing system, AgSense and GrainTruckPlus. There are several farm apps available in the App Store, including Tudder, «Tinder for Farm Animals.»
The good shepherd (drone)
Above the fields, drones are used throughout the agricultural life cycle, for crop protection, crop management and more.
An application called FieldAgent is a good example of this. Fly your DJI drone to capture data to build field and crop health plans, to identify weeds and more. These tasks can be automated.
The current expensive technology industry, the blockchain, is also gaining traction. IBM at CES 2020 introduced an app that connects consumers with the farmers who use it, with the idea that “the chain carries all the information about coffee that a consumer could want in a format that can be accessed through an iPhone app .
This was a good illustration of how the blockchain can be used to store crop data, such as pH levels, distribution, nutrition, and more.
The idea is that greater transparency throughout the agricultural life cycle should benefit all stakeholders in the industry.
IPhone Ole Farmer
Remote controlled farms are a reality, with technology that solves real problems. After all, most farms are spread over large areas, so the simple journey to analyze and resolve a situation takes a long time. Technological innovation opens up other efficiencies. And, of course, mobile networks and companies like Dacom support these remote M2M agricultural implementations.
A recent example of Apple-controlled agricultural irrigation systems was recently unveiled in Namibia, Africa, where Konigstein Capital installed intelligent iPad-controlled irrigation systems.
The idea is for farmers to control the water pivots on the Apple device. This saves time, allows quick repairs and allows cultivation 24/7.
The location has installed automatic steering systems on three tractors, allowing them to work safely and efficiently at night, when human drivers cannot do their job normally.
Robotic farmers for robotic farms
As semi-autonomous vehicles enter the road, it will only be a matter of time before we see AI-powered agricultural equipment. In fact, we already do: take a look at the work of the Japanese technology provider ag Spread.
Next? Agricultural control systems based on AR. There is already research exploring the use of drone samples and soil with AR that shows how it is implemented.
Of course, once you turned a mobile device into a control system for that computer, you also made it possible to create voice-based shortcuts for those controls. Farmers can even manage the whole process using their voice and a connected pair of AR glasses.
And not even to start with Big Data in agricultural production.
Big problems, big solutions
The power to install technology in agriculture is not just a case of technology trying to become a solution, but a case of an industry in need of this change.
The world’s population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, says the UN. Feeding these people will require global agricultural production to increase by 69% by 2050, even if climate and environmental challenges impact growth cycles.
This is the context that drives the implementation of technology, as farmers and technology seek any form of productivity advantage to help them meet these challenges. In practice, of course, the cost of such technologies will benefit companies more with the money to invest in them, while smaller farmers will use less efficient processes.
But if an industry has ever needed a technology-based democracy, agriculture is:
Because about nine out of 10 farms in the world are small, but they provide more than 80% of the world’s food supply.
We simply cannot achieve these goals without them.