In the modern world, there is a tendency to automate business processes, and the agricultural sector is no exception. Automation of agricultural processes has already become normal. Today’s farmers are trying to reduce the time consuming on work, make the most rational schemes of cultivation plants and optimize work with carriers.
They actively use web applications, RFID sensors, and software. Every year, are being developed new and are increasingly improved existing technologies. So, what will be the future of the agricultural sector? Which trends will be major? Which technologies and devices will be used most intensively? Let’s figure out the current situation and try to make a forecast.
Current features of agricultural activity
During the progressing of agriculture, has been a tendency to expand land holdings, increase the number of livestock units and fruits. This is due to economic reasons – the more you sell, the more revenue you get.
For large farmers, there is scope for:
- wholesale trade;
- participation in tenders;
- cooperation with shopping centers;
- collaboration with administrative institutions, etc.
At the same time, small farmers can sell their products to a limited quantity of final consumers directly. Such an approach often requires physical participation in the transportation and sales process but doesn’t always justify the investments and efforts.
As we see, trade in large lots is more profitable. But, the more your property, the harder caring for the land. Therefore, the automation of agricultural processes becomes an urgent issue as soon as production volumes increase.
What are the objectives of the farmers?
The tasks of small and large farmers are similar. To the category of key ones can be counted:
- Monitoring the condition of plants/animals;
- A quick search for information about significant diseases and methods of treatment;
- Selection of fertilizers, their suppliers;
- Calculating the cost and field processing schemes;
- Selection of vaccines, their suppliers;
- Estimating the cost and vaccination schemes (for owners of livestock farms).
For large farmers, the task list will be slightly expanded. They will also be interested in the automatic selection of carriers, cargo tracking, and electronic document management. The great news is that all these tasks can be elegantly solved with the using of technology.
What technologies are useful in the agricultural sector?
Today, useful technologies in the agricultural sector are mainly represented by RFID sensors and specialized programs, applications.
Sensors are attached to plants or animals to monitor important indicators of their condition. They receive information at the object, then transmit it to a computer and/or smartphone which is connected to the network. Through the program, you can evaluate these indicators at different times and even get automated statistics compiled by previously obtained data.
A great example of the use of technology in the agricultural sector is the web application AgroTaxi by Boost Solutions. It was developed to simplify communication between manufacturers, carriers, and customers. Its use allows you to speed up and simplify the process of transporting the crop. Read more about it here.
Fixing sensors on units of cargo (cartons, boxes, bags) allows you to determine the exact location and type of fixation at any time. At the same time, an image in the form of a mark on the map will be displayed for you on the monitor. If necessary, you can also analyze automatic statistics on what products are in high demand and when.
The software not only helps to calculate the cost and the scheme of processing fields/grafting animals but also allows you to make a calendar, set up reminders of essential works. As for working with suppliers and carriers, you can use a ready-made database of contacts and get the most favorable conditions.
The workflow will be as simple as possible. Technological solutions also exist to participate in tenders, but they have a somewhat more complicated structure. We will talk about them in a subsequent publication.
What is the future of agricultural and farming?
With high probability, the current trends in the use of RFID sensors, specialized programs and applications will intensify:
- Programs will become more accurate and functional;
- The number of measured indicators will increase;
- Will present opportunities for modeling based on statistical data and information from the Internet;
- More devices connected to the network will emerge;
- Expanded coverage for Bluetooth connections;
- More mobile apps will be developed;
- Flying drones will be used for watering, treating plants with fertilizers;
- The possibilities for managing these processes by using smartphones and tablets will be expanded.
Thus, we expect that IoT will get more improvement as a whole, and farmers will make up a significant part of users of devices connected to the network. Web development will increasingly penetrate the industry, and emerging agriculture technologies will contribute to the further growth of the sector.