Agriculture today has transformed into a high-tech enterprise. 20th century farmers might barely recognize the agriculture of today. Back then, decades ago, the agricultural fields were limited to animal power. Today a major transition has taken place from animal power to combustion engines. Also today, automation has taken over every sector and industry. Some of the popular advanced agricultural equipment that is being used includes global positioning systems (GPS), electronic sensors, drones and other new tools that have changed the face of farming to a technological wonderland.
Beyond air conditioning and stereo systems, the modern tractor is equipped with computer displays that indicate the machines performance, field position and operating characteristics of attached machinery.
Agriculture few years ago and in some farms today is uneven. The farmers today and in the future focus on precision agriculture. Self-driving machinery and flying robots will automatically be able to survey and treat crops. This will help in precision agriculture.
While the agricultural lands and farms are all readily accepting new technology, there is a reason behind this. The ultimate purpose of the advanced machinery and hi-tech gadgetry is to optimise, both from an economic and environmental perspective. Optimal amount of input (water, soil, fertilizer, pesticide, fuel and labour) along with advanced machinery can produce efficiently high crop yields.
We will now discuss how various advanced tools help in precision agriculture:
- GPS: GPS provides accurate location information at any point. Farming machines that are incorporated with GPS will be able to recognise their position in the farm field and accordingly adjust their operation to maximise productivity or efficiency. GPS technology can also help farmers to collect soil samples at a particular location. They can do this by analysing the fertility map.
- Information, analysis and tools: Precision agriculture requires three elements to be successful that is information, analysis and tools. It needs site-specific information and the ability to understand this information to make a decision. A farmer must have physical tools to implement these decisions. Farmers can also measure the rate of planting seeds in the field as per soil type and can use sensors to identify weeds, diseases or insects in the soil that can harm the plant.
- Automation: For further automation, the best would be use of GPS based system that steers the tractor. In most agricultural fields and farms, full autonomous machines are being installed to increase the profit-margin. One is most likely to find these machines in vineyards, nurseries and fruit and vegetable farms.
- Robots:A new vision of robots patrolling meadows and farms has been developed. This will surely bring efficiencies and benefits around the farm. This precision agriculture technology will be an intersection of genetics, sensors and robotics. Robots in the farm will save the farmers from the back-breaking job.
Agricultural production has come a long way in the past couple of decades. Agriculture equipment suppliers are coming up with high-tech innovations. 10 years from now, don’t be surprised if you see a drone flying over a farm to manipulate leaves.