Our recent blog post shed light on what is smart agriculture and how the key processes in smart agriculture are taking place. But is using smart agriculture just a whim? On the contrary, in the near future, using smart agriculture technologies will be a critical factor for the survival of a farm in a highly competitive environment. Why?
According to a report by the UN, by 2050 the earth’s population is expected to reach 9.7 billion people. This means considerably increased demand for food, within the same natural resources we have. It is evident that without innovations that increase the productivity and efficiency of agriculture, while optimizing the key resources used, there is no way that this increased demand would be met.
But, even at the current population level, the agriculture already faces a number of challenges:
Deteriorated quality of the soil
The extensive use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides has caused considerable deterioration of the soil fertility. The quality of the soil has decreased, which leads to decreased growth rates for all crops. This triggers the need for more and more artificial fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides.
Which is more, when chemical fertilizers are used in agriculture, they seep into the soil and pollute any water sources found nearby.
The need for more agricultural produce leads to increased demand for farming land. Forests get cut so the land can be used for agriculture. The lack of natural cooling factors leads to increased temperatures, which negatively impacts the humans, but to a much bigger extent impacts the plants and their growth processes.
Increased consumption of natural resources
The agricultural sector consumes a lot of natural resources, with water as well as metal and fuel for agricultural machines being just a few of them.
Deforestation for the sake of sourcing farming land has another negative consequence: the carbon in the atmosphere cannot get consumed.
Decrease in biological diversity
The deforestation also means killing a wide range of plants and decrease in the biological diversity. This, in turn, seriously impacts the flora and fauna in the deforestated region.
By using smart agriculture technologies, many of those problems can be solved, by means of:
By deploying sensors transmitting data for the condition of the soil and air farmers can get accurate data for the state of the soil, air, etc – for different crops and different locations.
Thanks to the data received from the sensors farmers can use automated, smart irrigation. It adapts to the needs of the plants and the status of the surrounding environment and increases the crop yield, while at the same time decreasing the natural resources used.
Adapting the automated plant processes to the weather forecast
The automated adaptation of the plant irrigation and other processes depending on the weather forecast leads to major optimizations in resources used and better utilization rates.
Remote monitoring and control
Farms are frequently taking up gross amounts of land and farming land may be scattered in different locations. Farmers are taking a lot of time monitoring the status of all their lands and crops. There is a lack of qualified personnel able to take critical decisions.
At the same time, the lack of timely information and timely, appropriate reaction can lead to enormous losses in crop yield. By using smart technologies for remote monitoring and control on all plant growing processes, farmers get instant information for all their crops and fields and reaction to identified issues is immediate. This reaction may be fully automated or controlled by a human.
These are only a few directions in which smart technologies can help to meet the challenges agriculture is facing, in a sustainable way.
ONDO Smart farming is one of the most advanced agriculture technologies on the market, allowing all farmers, regardless of their size, to automate the drip irrigation, nutrition, climate control and monitoring on their farms. The economic benefits are visible right from the first harvest.