Agriculture has been an integral part of human society for centuries, and it is an essential source of food and the economy. This sector has seen significant changes and advancements in terms of techniques and approaches in recent times. These changes have hastened with the advent of digital transformation and the current COVID-19 pandemic. The presence of cloud technology, satellites, big data, machinery, vehicles, etc., have given farmers the ability and knowledge to make informed decisions. Now farm owners can use precision farming to carry out actions only when needed. They know when to plant, apply fertilizers, water, and harvest. This significantly increases the land yield, reduces the impact on natural ecosystems, cuts costs and labour. So in this article, we will talk about the top 10 innovations and farming practices.
Remote Sensing & GIS Application
Remote sensing and GIS in agriculture is the process of monitoring farmlands using tools like satellites, drones, aircraft, and sensors. Information from these tools is stored in a cloud where farmers can access the data, helping them make better decisions. Farmers can accurately predict their yield, helping them plan budget and forecast profits.
It is very difficult and challenging to monitor the health of crops over vast acres of land. However, with remote sensing and GIS, it becomes easier. Satellite images and data from sensors placed on the farm access environmental conditions across the field. There are numerous applications for remote sensing and GIS. To know more about this, you can visit https://eos.com/
Robots are quickly finding their place and roles in the agricultural sector. They can assist farmers with lots of different tasks. These machines can be programmed to think and act autonomously.
As the workforce in the agricultural sector declines, robots will play a huge role in meeting the demands of the ever-growing population. They can tackle repetitive, laborious, and physically demanding tasks.
The soil is cultivated regularly and deeply in most modern farms. All of this is made possible with the use of tractors and other machinery. Even with this intensive tillage, the soil is loosened, roots grow deeper and faster, water drains, and seeds can be cultivated more efficiently. Also, cultivation is one of the sustainable methods used to work dead plant matter into the soil and control weeds.
This is the method of raising one type of crop in a vast land area. Many commercial farms in the US and around the world use monoculture, especially for crops like corn. This is in contrast to polyculture, where multiple types of crops are cultivated on the same field. Monoculture agriculture makes it easier to grow, harvest, and expand farm operations, thereby increasing profits. Here are some of the advantages of this type of farming method:
Reduces plant competition for soil, nutrients, and solar radiation.
It helps to decrease the presence of undesirable organisms in the environment.
Specialized machinery can be used more efficiently on a field with only one type of plant.
Irrigation helps to provide water to farms that are in regions with a shortage of rainfall. Water is essential for plant growth, therefore increasing land yields. The water can be obtained by diverting rivers, underground wells, and building reservoirs. Also, it can be transported from distant water sources using pumps, pipes, and special sprinkles to ensure that the whole farm gets enough water.
Chemical Pest Control
Pests are insects, diseases, and animals that feed, destroy, or interfere with plant and livestock growth. Nowadays, there are lots of chemicals used to fight against pests. When used properly, it could be an important factor in ensuring healthy plants and animals, which in turn increase farm yields.
Indoor Vertical Farming
As the name suggests, indoor vertical farming is cultivating plants stacked in a vertical column in a controlled environment. This type of farming significantly reduces the amount of land required to grow crops compared to traditional methods. It is often practised in cities and urban regions with little or no land to spare. Vertical farms do not necessarily need land to grow crops. Most of them are hydroponic, where the plants are grown in a bowl of nutrient-dense water. Also, farms can be aeroponic, where the roots of the plants are sprayed with water and nutrients.
Farm automation is the process of making farms more efficient by automating the livestock or crop production cycle. Many different companies are now adopting innovations such as autonomous tractors, drones, automatic watering, robotic harvesters, and seeding robots to increase the farm’s yield and reduce the cost of labour. The main goal of farm automation is to cover mundane and repetitive tasks that may slow down the supply chain.
Plant tissue culture is multiplying and cultivating plant tissue in an external environment such as liquid, semi-solid, or solid environment such as agar or broth. The cells are isolated from the donor plant and placed in the medium with all the necessary nutrients for survival. This type of plant cultivation is used to grow plants like dahlia, orchids, etc. This process is often faster than traditional methods and produces plant strains resistant to disease and harsh weather conditions.
With the advancement of technology, farmers now have a wide variety of crop breeding techniques. One of the most popular is the creation of hybrid seeds using genetic engineering. Here, two or more crop strains are combined to create stronger and more productive offspring.
As technology continues to advance, people will come up with more innovations, which will be helpful for the future of food production.