All categories of farmers can today use advances in digital technology to increase their output, be it yields from crops farming or livestock rearing. This has been made possible by the fact that modern agriculture is driven by continuous improvements in digital tools and data as well as collaborations among farmers and researchers across the public and private sectors.
During the Green Revolution in the 1960s, India attained self-sufficiency in food grain production by using modern methods of agriculture like better quality of seeds, proper irrigation, chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Over time, more technological advances in came into the picture.
The tractor was introduced, followed by new tillage and harvesting equipment, New irrigation and seeding technologies were also introduced. The combination of these technologies led to higher yields and improved quality of the food and fiber that were grown.
1. Monitoring and controlling crop irrigation systems via smartphone
Mobile technology is playing an important role in monitoring and controlling crop irrigation systems. With this modern technology, farmers can control their irrigation systems from a phone or computer instead of driving to each field. Moisture sensors in the ground are able to communicate information about the level of moisture present at certain depths in the soil. Therefore, use of such monitoring and control techniques greatly enhance efficiency.
2. Ultrasounds for livestock
Ultrasound is not only useful in checking on development of fetus, It also can be used to discover what quality of meat might be found in an grown animal before it goes to the market.The testing of DNA helps producers to identify animals with good pedigrees and other desirable qualities. This information can also be used to help the farmer improve the quality of their herds through data-driven selective breeding
3. Usage of mobile technology and cameras
Some farmers and ranchers use apps like ‘Foursquare’ to keep tabs on employees. They also set up cameras around the farm to remotely monitor operations.Livestock managers are wiring up their barn feedlots and pastures with cameras that send images back to the central location like an office or home computer. In this way, they can keep a closer eye on their farms even when they are far away.
4. Crop Sensors
Crop sensors help in effective application of fertilizers thereby maximizing uptake. They continuously detect the state of your crops and reduce the potential leaching and runoff into ground water. Instead of making a prescription fertilizser map for a field before you go out to apply it, crop sensors tell application equipment how much to apply in real time. Optical sensors are able to see how much fertilizer a plant may need, based on the amount of light reflected back to the sensor.
Vision about modern agriculture
Nearly everyone working on the future of modern agriculture is focused on efficiency. A wide range of technologies will greatly raise efficiency in the field. Some technologies will need to be developed specifically for agriculture, while other technologies already developed for other areas could be adapted to the modern agricultural domain such as autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence and machine vision.
If modern agriculture is applied widely in the near future, millions of farmers will be able to benefit from the acquisition of real-time farm information. Farmers need not spend significant amount of time on acquiring farm data and will have access to disaster warnings and weather information when a disaster event occurs. It is difficult to predict the future of technology in agriculture but there are many promising trends and pilot projects. The future is bright.