Modern agriculture and agricultural technology function differently than they did even a few years ago, largely due to recent advancements in information technology, including computers, sensors, machinery, and data systems. Nowadays, agriculture routinely makes use of advanced technologies including thermal imaging, GPS technology, and satellite data systems. Farmers have access to the Internet on their cell phones to get current information on rainfall, soil quality, water availability, crop conditions, pest attacks, and the status of their crops. There are now many different types of machines used in the modern agricultural industry that was previously used in strictly manual farm tasks, such as plowing and sowing, digging canals, and fertilizing and spraying fields. These machines help increase farmers’ profitability by reducing labor costs, increasing crop yields, and reducing the environmental damage caused by farmers’ activities.
Because farmers need to use pesticides, chemicals, and herbicides to control pests and prevent infestations, they also need access to information about the efficacy and safety of these products. To improve and implement pest control, agricultural scientists have created a wide range of knowledge resources, such as past behavior, plant nutrition, pest transmission, plant pathology, food safety, food processing, food distribution, soil biology, veterinary science, and agriculture engineering. In the last few years, there has been a rise in the use of genetically modified crops. These are engineered varieties that have specific traits, such as resistance to disease or pests, that make them more efficient and highly marketable. One example of this is the improved “Bollinger Bands” that indicates when crops are next in the market for adoption.
Another example of agricultural technology being introduced to the field is the development of robotic technologies to harvest and process harvests. Modern farmers can save significant amounts of time and money by using automated systems that can mechanically load and empty their fields, removing the need for human labor. Some of these robotic technologies can even determine when it is time to replace an entire field with crops that have been mechanically managed. Some farmers are now completely reliant on these robotic technologies in order to meet the demands of the marketplace.
Biotechnology has also played a large role in the creation of agricultural technology as well. This is the use of living organisms, such as bacteria and fungi, to provide natural fertilizers and pesticides, which were earlier in the realm of plants and animals. One example of this type of biological innovation is the application of yeast cultures to create ethanol.
As the availability of energy becomes more limited and prices for oil and natural gas rise, farmers may find themselves relying ever more heavily on agronomic innovations to make their harvests more efficient. With limited access to capital as well as natural resources due to environmental factors, innovation in this area is critical. One such method being considered is the implementation of hydroponics, which provides crops with a steady supply of nutrients via water. Another is the use of plant nutrition, which relies on various fertilizers that are delivered to the crops via spray systems. By using these two methods, farmers may be able to grow foods more efficiently and increase crop yields.
Some farmers have turned to agronomic advancements to help them adapt to changes in pest and weather conditions. In some cases, pests have become resistant to certain pesticides or treatments, making them necessary to use additional methods to protect the health of the harvest. Other methods rely on plant biotechnology and other forms of agricultural technology to help control soil temperatures. These can reduce water stress and increase crop yields. Other innovations address overall weed and insect problems as well.
New advances in agricultural technology enable the production of crops to be very high-quality at a low cost. Advances in production techniques such as turning lagoons into croplands, improving feed production methods, and creating efficient seed storage systems have all combined to improve the overall quality of the finished product. These methods can also make farming much more affordable for smallholders. The combination of new techniques and the relatively low cost of production has made it possible for farmers to expand at a much faster rate. This has created an increased interest in the agricultural technology market from both consumers and farmers.
Innovations in agriculture have created some amazing agricultural technologies that have made managing the land much easier. Biotechnology is transforming the way farmers work by providing them with the tools they need to make their jobs even easier. By providing them with the right information and tools, farmers will be able to make better decisions and take better care of their harvests. These innovations are only going to continue to influence how we farm in the future.