Home » Revolutionising Agriculture: Six Reasons to Invest in Crop Management Technology

Revolutionising Agriculture: Six Reasons to Invest in Crop Management Technology

by Sanusi Afeez Opeyemi

As a farmer or Agritech enthusiast, you have two responsibilities: to care for yourself and your family, and to ensure your plant friends receive the utmost care as well. Did you know crops can talk too?

According to University of Wisconsin-Madison botany professor Simon Gilroy, electrical impulses have been seen in plants when they are injured or stimulated. That explains why, when touched, the Venus flytrap shuts its trap instantly to ensnare its victim.

With this knowledge, you should be more mindful of the requirements of your crops and make investments in technologies for crop monitoring and management that will enable you to identify plant illnesses and take prompt action against them.

In this article, we will explore 6 reasons why investment in crop monitoring and management technologies is crucial:

Potentials of Crop Monitoring and Management Technology Investment 

1. Maximize Yields and Optimize Inputs

One of the primary benefits of crop monitoring technology is the ability to collect vast amounts of data on your crops and fields. Solutions like soil sensors, weather stations, drones, and satellite imagery can provide unprecedented insights into variables like soil moisture, nutrient levels, pest and disease risk, and more. 

Using advanced analytics, farmers can then make highly informed decisions about smart irrigation, fertilization, pesticide application, and other inputs to maximize yields while minimizing waste. According to a research carried out in Nebraska, USA, precision agriculture techniques enabled by digital technologies reduce water and fertilizer use by at least 20%.

We are excited to share with youThis FREE E-Book of 50 Agritech Pioneers & Their Game Changing Innovations.

Download the Ebook now 

2. Enhance Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship

With growing concerns over climate change, water scarcity, soil degradation, and other environmental issues, there is immense pressure on agriculture to adopt more sustainable practices. In fact, the agricultural sector accounts for a staggering 70% of global freshwater withdrawals and up to 30% of greenhouse gas emissions.

 Precision crop management enabled by digital technologies allows farmers to be judicious with water, fertilizers, pesticides, and other inputs. By applying only what is needed, when and where it is needed most, the environmental footprint of farming operations can be significantly reduced. 

3. Improve Operational Efficiency and Profitability  

High-tech crop monitoring and management doesn’t just benefit the environment – it can also boost your bottom line. By optimizing inputs and yields, farmers can produce more food and fiber per acre while saving on costs. 

In 2019, the average return on investment for precision agriculture technologies was estimated at $90 per acre  according to a study conducted by Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture. The data and analytics from these solutions also enable better planning, labor management, equipment utilization, and logistics. Coupled with the ability to command premium prices for sustainably grown crops, investing in agricultural technology represents a path toward greater profitability and competitiveness.

4. Mitigate Climate and Weather Risks

Extreme weather events like drought, floods, frosts, and heatwaves are becoming more frequent and intense due to climate change. These events can be absolutely devastating for crop yields.Crop monitoring and management technologies can help mitigate these risks through monitoring, prediction, and informed response. 

Field sensors and weather data integrations provide localized microclimate tracking. Predictive analytics powered by machine learning can then forecast conditions days or weeks in advance with increasing accuracy. 

5. Reduce Labor Requirements  

Farming has always been labor-intensive work, but smart farming technologies are progressively automating certain tasks to boost efficiency and reduce operating costs. Soil sampling, crop scouting, and field monitoring can now be accomplished more quickly and accurately using drones, rovers, and IoT sensor networks rather than manual human surveys. 

According to official estimates from the United States Department of Agriculture, US farms are expected to spend over $44 billion on labor expenses in 2024, a cost that could potentially be offset by robotic systems. Automated weeding, pruning, and harvesting robots are also being developed to further minimize labor needs for physically strenuous activities.

6. Enable Traceability and Food Safety: 

Crop monitoring and data collection create a comprehensive digital record – a “provenance trail” that tracks all activities and conditions from seed to harvest. This farm-to-fork traceability is critical for food safety, providing full transparency into the entire production chain.

If a food safety issue does arise, detailed data logging allows for rapidly identifying the root cause and tracing impacted products for containment and recall. Granular traceability also supports food certifications and verifying compliance with safety standards. In the event of a foodborne illness outbreak, the FDA estimates that an effective traceability system can help reduce the economic impact by minimizing unnecessary removal of safe products.

Conclusion

The digital transformation of agriculture through crop monitoring is well underway, driven by rapid innovation in areas like sensing, imaging, data analytics, artificial intelligence, robotics, and more. While adopting new technologies requires upfront capital investment, the economic and environmental payoffs of crop monitoring and management solutions make them a savvy long-term strategy. As the world’s population continues to grow and environmental pressures mount, equipping your farming operation with cutting-edge tech will be crucial for prospering in an increasingly competitive and resource-constrained future.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQs)

What Types of Technologies are Involved in Crop Monitoring and Management?

Common technologies include GPS/GNSS sensors, guidance systems, variable rate controllers, yield monitors, soil sensors, weather stations, drone/UAV imaging, satellite imagery, IoT connectivity, data analytics software, robotics and more. These technologies work together to gather multi-source data and generate insights for optimizing operations.

How Does Crop Monitoring Technology Actually Improve Yields?

 By precisely measuring factors like soil moisture, nutrient levels, pest/disease stress and micro-climates, farmers can better determine optimal application levels for water, fertilizers, pesticides, growth promoters, etc. This “precision agriculture” approach avoids over/under-application of inputs to increase yields while reducing waste.

How Do Drone/Aerial/Satellite Imaging Work For Crop Monitoring?

Cameras, sensors and imaging systems on drones, planes or satellites capture high-resolution visual, thermal, hyperspectral and other data on crop health/status. AI and computer vision can then analyze the imagery to detect issues like nutrient deficiencies, disease, drought stress or pest damage down to the individual plant level.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

Agritech Digest is your gateway to a fascinating world where agriculture meets technology.

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL

©2023 Agritech Media, All Right Reserved. Designed and Developed by KubuniX