Agriculture is at the core of the world economy. Thousands of years have passed since people first started to work the land, and now it is a multimillion-dollar industry. At the same time, current global trends have a direct influence on the branch. Environment protection, population growth, and high food quality require many more tools than fertilizers and combine-harvesters. This is why modern technologies occupy the minds of scientists, engineers, and business owners.
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Today, we’re talking about the future in agriculture field. We’ll take a glance at the smart agriculture term and figure out how artificial intelligence (AI) transforms the modern market.
Smart Agriculture: Clever Ways to Solve Global Problems
Smart agriculture is a revolutionary approach which allows producing secure food under the climate changes and population growth. The foundation of this revolution is modern technologies, such as AI, IoT (Internet of Things), cloud-based services, etc. Currently, this trend is flourishing as the world population is growing and urbanization is stealing agricultural areas. According to Statista, smart agriculture will increase its value, and by 2025, it will be around $15,344 million. In 2016, the market value was $5,098 million, so the index is expected to grow by three times within 9 years.
Market value of smart agriculture worldwide
The world around us is ever changing. Most industries must adapt to the new conditions. No wonder market predictions display such a massive growth – the agriculture branch feeds the whole planet. Do farmers benefit from the advanced software? Let’s figure out what happens if agriculture utilizes the latest AI tools.
AI in Agriculture: 6 Stunning Discoveries
Today, we’re leaving traditional farming behind and plunging into a completely new universe where farmers use drones and robots in their everyday work.
1. Precision Technology to Sow Seeds
A single seed can yield a lot if planted in the right place. Nowadays, when farmers strive to feed as many people as possible, they can’t allow sowing seeds randomly in the ground. Farmers use tools for precise actions such as John Deere Section Control. You can avoid both overlapping and skipping too much space when planting or protecting crops.
Modern software can also sow the seed in the place where it grows the best, predict weather conditions, and connect with the big data. All in all, human knowledge is mixed with the machine mind to grow plants most effectively.
2. Robots for Harvesting
Harvesting must be one of the most harassing and monotonous jobs ever known. Workers get tired and less productive by the end of the day. Robots, on the other hand, know nothing about exhaustion and are ready to work as much as needed. Plus, modern tools become more precise as technologies evolve.
Manufacturers create new machines considering the product type. For instance, Harvest Croo decided to focus on strawberries and to use machine vision in agriculture. Now you can not only pick strawberries but also remove leaves and inspect fruits with different robotic components. It requires highly precise movements, and it looks a lot like human behavior.
3. Field Inspection Using Drones
How much time would it take you to explore a field? It’s a time-consuming task, and lots of issues can pass unnoticed. Imagine that you can get a vehicle in the air, and it will send you a report on everything you need to know. This is not science fiction – you have a chance to use the agricultural drone technology right now.
Most importantly, drones can analyze the plants’ condition: their dryness and the level of damage caused by pests and weeds. Having a drone report in hand, farmers know what steps to take next.
4. “See and Spray” Model for Pest and Weed Control
Should farmers spend their days and nights in a constant battle with pests and weeds? There’s no need for that with the modern software for agriculture industry. The magical combo of AI and computer vision creates the “See and Spray” model.
This model’s creators were concerned with the overwhelming amount of herbicides. Business owners invest more money into fighting pests, but they become more tolerant to chemicals with time, so the investment efficacy is gradually falling.
Smart See and Spray machines direct their efforts to a certain plant. It’s possible because machines can distinguish differences between “good” plants and “bad” weeds. At the moment, this technology is used specifically for cotton fields, but it has great potential for the whole industry.
5. Recommendations Based on Algorithms
To quickly deal with the big data, engineers use mathematical models. The agricultural branch goes hand in hand with numerous algorithms. To make the final decision on the crops, farmers analyze loads of data using AI solutions.
It thereby becomes crucial for regions with harsh weather conditions. For example, if in India the monsoon season is delayed, crops won’t grow. How would farmers pay back their debts when they lose their income? Big data allows collecting information on every climate issue and reducing high farming risks.
6. Chatbots for Farmers
This is the newest trend widely discussed by engineers. The idea is to create a chatbot specifically for farmers. Just like Alexa helps any of us to quickly solve certain tasks, the farmer’s chatbot will be tailored to the needs specific for the industry. If, in the near future, such chatbots will be able to answer questions and provide farmers with analytics, they will become indispensable assistants to business owners and managers in the agriculture industry.
Amplify is currently working with Farm.ink on developing a perfect chatbot for African farmers. The app already has thousands of users. The project has educational goals now, but advanced technologies will allow for a new approach to managing professional data.
How can one make the most of the farmland? Smart agriculture is coming to help with the latest innovations, and AI is one of them. The modern software picks a harvest, fights weeds and pets, and gives you a full analysis of weather and soil – all of it made possible by the artificial intelligence used in agriculture.
Most of these technologies are used only for certain types of plants, but they are already enjoying huge success and promise more improvements in the future. Investing in smart agriculture means you gain higher profits as well as contribute to solving the food crisis and overpopulation problems – that’s what we call a socially responsible business.