Smart farming, often referred to as precision farming, is taking a leap to bring about disruptive transformation in the way farmers manage their crops throughout the year and through all the different crop cycles across the globe. Before delving into the competencies of precision farming, let us first understand the concept of precision farming and how it helps the business of agriculture?
Precision farming essentially comprises making adept use of satellite technology to:
- Manage crops, water, fields, irrigation, soil template for high yielding crop produce.
- Minimize the harmful effects of pesticide farming on the environment.
- It makes farming more accurate and controlled to manage crop cycles.
- Helps to manage and raise the livestock effectively.
For an industry like agriculture that is high land and labor-intensive, adopting smart technology has become indispensable for farmers to yield a high crop produce. Smart farming is achieved by employing many smart technological tools that extensively use artificial intelligence as its cardinal technology, like:
These are some of the AI-powered technologies that enable smart farming and precision agronomics, a concept that effectively combines the farming methodology with technology. A recent study by Hexa Reports suggested that precision farming is expected to grow to $43.4 billion by 2025.
What Are The Key Benefits Of Adopting Precision Farming?
At its core, AI-powered precision farming consists of 3 factors that farmers strive to achieve to produce a high yielding crop with minimum harm to the environment.
1. Sustainability – Sustainable farming is the sole concept every farmer is striving to achieve since time immemorial and especially so now that pandemic trying times have bought along with it. Sustainable farming helps to manage the social, economic, and environmental impacts of farming. Precision farming helps to manage and strike just the right balance between these on the road to sustainability.
2. Efficiency – Precision farming helps to measure farming performance and bring in new ideas to make farming smarter.
Productivity – Smart farming helps to weigh productivity by managing the soil profile, water quality, identifying the right irrigation techniques that use minimum water and reap maximum produce, and predicting any unforeseeable circumstances based on weather conditions to save the crop from failing.
3. Profitability – Precision farming helps farmers strategically choose crops for the upcoming crop cycle based on the weather predictions, quality of soil, water table management to produce a high yield. It helps to understand the costs, margin of the crops, and take the right advantage of the market opportunities.
How Can Precision Farming Benefit From AI-Powered Solutions?
With the introduction of the GPS guided tractors from early 1990 to the farming industry, there is no looking back. Precision farming has helped the farmers to tame the uncertainties that all the farming brings along with it. Let’s look at how AI-powered automated solutions help in precision farming:
- By adopting variable rate technology (VRT) – VRT is essentially made up of the four components that are a computer, software, a controller, and a differential global positioning system (DGPS). Using these components, VRT adopts the following 3 approaches that foster variable applications of inputs and enable farmers to control the input for a specific location:
- Map-based Approach
- Sensor-based Approach
- Manual Approach
VRT effectively tests the soil and enables geo-referenced satellite imagery to place the seed and fertilizers across fields efficiently. VRT helps to track the performance by capturing and utilizing the data. The yield produced per crop cycle, and the ROI helps farmers to make informed decisions for the next season.
- GPS Soil Sampling – Soil sampling allows farmers to assess the soil template, viz. The soil nutrients, pH level, and a lot of other data are required to make informed and profitable decisions to increase crop yield. The data collected from sampling the soil is used to input the variable rate applications to optimize seeding and fertilizer input.
- Computer-based applications – AI-powered computer-based applications create precise farm plans, field maps, crop scouting, and yield maps. The information gathered is used as an input to the variable rate applications, which help determine the number of pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides used to produce higher yields with minimum expenses. It also allows farmers to practice environmentally friendly operations and take a step forward towards sustainable farming.
How Can You Be Precision Farming Ready?
The cogent IT consulting firms with the expertise and experience of lending smart farming solutions are the best bet for the farmers. They are looking to implement similar smart farming solutions in their fields. The farmers need to identify and work with IT consulting firms with proven records of rendering successful precision agronomic supplies to the farmers. IT consulting firms help understand and effectively use smart farming equipment to yield maximum benefits. The IT consulting experts effectively manage the farming data by connecting all the data, sorting them, and storing them in one place to harness the power of data fruitfully.
Being precision farming ready comes by adopting the four easy steps:
- Assess the soil – Annual soil tests to check the ensure that the soil is in a healthy condition and has an optimum level of nutrients & pH balance for the upcoming crop cycles.
- Variable-rate technology – Optimize farming productivity by effectively using the data collected to feed the VRT enabled applications.
- Manage the farm data platform – Connects the farming methodologies with the important farm records to yield better produce season after season.
- AI-enabled mobile app – A smart app that enables capturing precise field observations and recommendations to be observed and subsequently make informed decisions.
Where does precision farming go from here? With access to the wealth of data that farmers have at hand, AI-powered technology can harness data and draw analytics to make better-informed decisions to yield high crop produce. The data analytics can predict the outbreak of plant disease and pests, the weather forecast that can adversely affect the crops, and help manage the farm inventory better. IT consultants at ZealousWeb will help you identify and implement the best AI-powered precision farming techniques to yield higher farm-produce. Connect with us today, and become precision farming ready with our AI-powered solutions!