The increasing cost of production is on everyone’s mind this year. Farm income is expected to reach $113 billion in 2021, due mostly to strong market prices and global demand. But this year isn’t all smooth sailing for American farmers and ranchers. Logistic bottlenecks and various shortages are leading to higher input expenses and difficulty securing necessary labor. To combat this escalating trend, more and more farmers are turning to smart agricultural technology.
FIVE COST-SAVING AGRI TECHNOLOGIES
1. GPS AND YIELD MAPPING TOOLS
Developed in the 1990s, GPS and field monitoring capabilities have been enhanced in the last several decades due in part to the increasing use of agricultural drones (UAVs). e accuracy of GPS allows farmers to create farm maps with precise acreage for yield areas, road locations, and distances between points of interest. When integrated with other agricultural devices, such as crop sensors, farmers can more easily assess crop damage, identify disease and stress, and give yield estimates.
2. VARIABLE RATE APPLICATION TECHNOLOGY
Variable rate technology (VRT) is used by farmers to apply fertilizer, water, chemicals, and seed at different rates across a field. Farmers can use this ag technology to more precisely apply crop inputs to enhance growth, lower cost, and reduce environmental degradation.
3. DRIP IRRIGATION SYSTEMS
Water has been—and always will be—a vital part of agriculture. Watering crops in individual, precise drips rather than broad, high-volume streams offers a way to ease the ongoing water shortages currently facing many American farmers.
4 . SMART CLOUD DATABASES
Agricultural devices that gather and store data from sensors are growing in popularity as this captured data is then stored in cloud computing so ware and makes it more accessible to others in the industry. is makes advancements in farming practices more easily documented, tested, and shared.
5. AI TECHNOLOGY
While still under development, AI robotics is a booming industry for agriculture right now and shows promise in addressing the labor shortage issue and reducing food waste.