You are currently viewing Emerging Trends and Advancements in Agriculture

Emerging Trends and Advancements in Agriculture

The agriculture industry is continually shifting to produce more food, fuel, and fiber for a growing world population. Globally, the population is expected to increase by 2.2 billion people by 2050. This rise in population means farmers will need to grow around 70 percent more food than what is now being produced. Agriculture experts support emerging trends and advancements within the industry that help increase production and efficiency. Examples of trends and advancements on the rise include urban farms, automation, smart technologies, water efficiency technologies, technologies focusing on sustainability, and more. Connectivity, computer, and AI technology integration are also increasing. Let’s explore a few trends within the industry.

Crop and Livestock Monitoring

Technologies are changing the way farmers monitor crops and livestock, which makes it easier to catch plant disease early and track livestock health. Monitoring crops with the use of sensors allows farmers to give the exact amount of water needed and continuously monitor crops through mobile and web applications. Aerial imagery, the use of drones, and small planes give farmers a bird’s eye view of their crops. Advantages include precision fertilizing, pest control, irrigation, and surveying soil and crop growth. Livestock monitoring using drones and images allows farmers to check on the animals from a remote location. Chips and sensors inserted into the livestock can measure bodily activities such as temperature, pulse, and blood pressure and will alert farmers of any physical problems as early as possible.

Water Use Efficiency 

Crucial water issues are threatening crops and livestock globally. As farmers prepare for drier futures, technologies are continually seeking to conserve water and manage it more efficiently. Irrigation uses a significant amount of water, so technologies are addressing ways to efficiently irrigate, including micro-irrigation. This type of irrigation applies water directly to plants, thus decreasing water waste and only providing the exact amount of water needed for crops. Rainwater harvesting is another trend that is being encouraged to reuse water, reduce water costs, and even protect crops and soil. Other technologies related to water issues include specific crop breeds that are drought-resistant with stronger root systems that absorb water better.

 Soil Health

With one-third of the world’s soil degraded, technological advancements are seeking to improve soil health. Agriculture experts recognize that addressing soil health is key to increasing production. Recommendations from the United States Department of Agriculture regarding soil health include maximizing the presence of living roots, minimizing disturbance, maximizing soil cover, and increasing biodiversity. Along with enhancing soil health through various practices, technologies such as biological products are enhancing microbiomes and building soil.

Final Thoughts

Staying current with trends and advancements in agriculture is paramount to increasing production. Farmers, ranchers, and growers are continually introduced to new technologies that are useful, but they must decide which technologies will best suit their farming practices. Agribusinesses that specialize in accelerating agriculture technologies around the world help provide scientific knowledge regarding these technologies. Embracing trends like crop and livestock monitoring, water efficiency technologies, and optimizing soil health, along with many other advancements, offers hope for increasing production.