Agriculture on a global scale continues to exploit resources way faster than they can be renewed. This isn’t breaking news. It’s been an ongoing debate for decades. The resulting imbalance is obvious because of rampant pollution, soil erosion. Also, the decline of wildlife populations and the loss of natural fauna and flora are notable. All of this devastation is due to excessive farming.
Clearly, technology has enabled human civilization to evolve in the first place. Indeed, the advancements have increased food production. It has also significantly reduced the number of hands that handle the food on everyone’s table. In contrast to traditional farming, sustainable agriculture focuses on the good stewardship of natural resources. This includes the systems and farmland rely heavily upon. In other words: building up and maintaining healthy soil, wisely managing water, minimizing all forms of pollution (air, water, and climate), and encouraging biodiversity.
Robotic vehicles have already been developed for the farming niche. Autonomous robots can mechanically weed crops, apply fertilizer, and harvest fruit. Digital farming in Japan turns to the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to turn knowledge into data. This way, others within the community can use it. For example, IoT and AI are able to collect data from light sensors and the soil in order to determine the exact amount of water and fertilizer needed.
Whereas in the Netherlands, the farming version of Tesla was introduced. A driverless tractor and quadcopter now read water content, nutrients, soil chemistry. Also, the growth and progress each plant makes are tracked. Drones can also take hyperspectral snapshots to calculate biomass development and the fertilization status of various crops. Precision farming is a result of the Dutch national commitment to use half the amount of resources to double the supply of food.
Lastly, in the United States, cows have their very own version of the Apple Watch. Ranchers can opt for fashioning wearables on cattle to monitor health, behavior, and location. Tractors and other equipment also sport GPS technology. GPS tech can help farmers with scouting for crops, sample soil, and map fields. This means that they can still work in low visibility conditions but maximize efficiency. Just like for leaks around the house, sensors around the farm can detect moisture. This technology helps farmers create sustainable irrigation systems based on the moisture of the solid and temperature.
Technology can be used for the advancement and redemption of farming. The agriculture community can continue and maybe even surpass the current demand for food with a little help from the future. The gap between innovation and consumers’ daily lives can be bridged. If drones and robots showcase just how much they can do for the community, agriculture can help people see that they can do some good too. Smart farms take data and technology to become better equipped to protect Earth’s natural resources. Above all, this sustainable way of growing food will produce the very best crops. You can learn more on Netflix documentaries about sustainability!