The advancements in farming technology have helped farmers produce more healthy and plentiful crops than ever before. Not only does this cut back on wasted money from unusable product, it also helps to ensure the freshness and quality of your goods. Take a look at these 11 technologies used in commercial farming.
New Agriculture Technologies
Ag tech is short for agricultural technology. This is where technological advancements meet traditional farming to improve the way crops are planted, monitored, and grown.
These factors, of course, make crops more profitable because of the increased productiveness. While ag tech is a fairly new industry, it has made its mark and it’s certainly here to stay.
In fact, the industry reached $4.6 billion in 2015 and is continuing to evolve as the population continues to grow.
Here are 10 agriculture technologies you need to know about when commercial farming
Strawberries need around 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit and less than 14 hours of sunlight to grow properly. This prime weather usually occurs in the Winter, Spring, and Fall. Farmers usually start preparing their land around late August to plant the plants. Strawberry plants usually have two to three growing cycles that can be interrupted due to freezes but, we’ll get to that later. For now, let’s get down to how to prepare the land.
Preparing The Land
While it’s possible that using robots isn’t going to become an ideal practice for every farmer, they are definitely useful in a variety of situations. For instance, they ag tech companies have created robotic devices to plow fields, plant seeds, and even work in meat production. Additionally, using robots is less expensive than hiring human help and they work more uniformly. The price of purchasing these technologies will decrease as time goes on. So, even smaller farms will be able to utilize them.
Pneumatic Spray Nozzle
Every year farmers lose millions of dollars as a result of crop failures due to uncontrolled diseases and pests. Researchers are constantly trying new techniques to battle the problems that threaten commercial crops. Pioneer Ag Equipment engineered pneumatically pressurized air sheer nozzles in an effort to overcome a disease that was killing orange trees in Florida. The pneumatic nozzles are used on their low volume air blast sprayer which they have manufactured by Kennco Manfucturing. The sprayer has been used by all sorts of growers with orchards and vineyards to prevent or reduce the effect of diseases and pests on their crops.
Drones for Crop Monitoring
Drones are being used in agriculture for a few main reasons. Drones are being used for crop monitoring. Because most commercial farms are large, it’s difficult for farmers to walk up to each crop to determine how they’re doing. This task also includes checking the quality of the soil, planning seed planting patterns, and watering the crops during droughts. Drones provide farmers with a bird’s eye view of their crops and while also using 3D imaging to determine the factors listed above.
Sensors in Farming Equipment
Tractors and other farming equipment are being produced with sensors inside them. The purpose of some of the sensors is to track and report the health of the machine so that you know when it needs to be serviced. Some sensors also use GPS for mapping, documenting harvests, and compensating for uneven terrains.
Processing AI Data
As technology progresses, we’re able to process more data than ever before. Sometimes there’s more data than a single human can ever truly make sense of. So, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning kick in to simplify things. This technology can help agricultural companies predict poor harvests early on or even find disease outbreaks. This kind of information makes it possible to make operational improvements.
Unlike the other ag tech on this list, RFID sensors are used after the crops are harvested. They track the food from the field to the store. Allowing the customer who buys it to know exactly where their produce came from. This technology is designed to help customers determine the trustworthiness of different manufacturers when it comes to providing them with fresh food. While it can’t stop bacterial outbreaks like the recent one with E. Coli in lettuce, it will make it much easier to find the origin of the outbreak, be it a farm or factory. This way, the panic during an outbreak isn’t so widespread and it can be stopped in its tracks.
WISRAN is a startup founded by Arsalan Lodhi in Sunnyvale, California. This software allows farmers to view their productivity and understand machinery logistics. This enables the ability to track inefficiencies and see where there is room to improve daily operations. Farmers will also be able to see where and how they’re losing money in order to improve.
Automated Dairy Farming
Robotic technology is being used by dairy farmers to increase production and minimize tedious tasks. These technologies include:
- Feed pushers
- Manure cleaners
- Robotic milkers
- Smart collars
Cows wear smart collars so that farmers can maintain an understanding of the animals’ health. Just as humans wear smartwatches like Fitbits, cows wear the collars and a report is generated to show their activity levels and behavioral changes. The collars also report when a cow is sick or exceptionally fertile.
Organic commercial farmers have been using better weed control techniques to care for crops in recent years. Instead of spraying chemicals to kill weeds, farmers are using weed wipers to apply minimal weed control herbicide. This reduces the risk of overspray affecting crops and helps farmers save on costs. Less weeds and less herbicides are helping farmers grow healthier produce and better yields.
Biotechnology is used to improve the production of crops and fight diseases. This is very similar to the way biotechnology is used in the medical industry where it’s used to edit human DNA to deal with diseases. Through these advanced techniques farmers are able to grow a stronger crop and produce higher yields. You can learn more about biotechnology here. Also, the USDA provides answers to common questions people have about biotechnology and genetically engineering crops.
Whether you’re a large commercial farmer or you run a small family farm, we’re here to help you produce the best crops possible with our farming equipment. Keep in mind that not all equipment is suitable for all farms or circumstances
This is where our experienced sales team comes in. If you need help choosing your equipment, contact us. We will help you build the farm equipment you need, built to your specifications.
Disclaimer: Use of the information presented in this article is at the sole risk of the reader and Kennco Manufacturing, Inc. takes no liability for that use.