Digital Transformation Trends in Agricultural Engineering

0 Comments

technology innovations in agriculture

The agriculture industry influences many sectors of the economy locally as well as internationally. From farmers and real estate to supermarkets and restaurants, it’s important to understand what is going on in this industry and how it will affect the production and distribution of food.

In recent years, technology in agriculture, also known as AgTech has rapidly changed the industry. Just in 2015, the industry’s investment in technology reached a whopping $4.6 billion! Although, with the growing population, it has the potential to affect resource availability going forward. In recent studies, it was found that the industry’s output must increase by 60% by 2030.

To do this, farmers and food producers must embrace the digital transformation trends in agriculture. So, let’s start looking at trends for this year and the upcoming years!

  • Internet of Things (IoT) and Sensors in the Field

The IoT is affecting the agriculture industry – all in a good way though. In fact, there is extreme potential for using IoT within the food sector. According to a network hardware company, Cisco, there is an estimated $14.4 trillion in value at stake with the emergence of IoT alone. This system is streamlining the collection, inspection, and overall distribution of agricultural resources using sensors on equipment and materials.

These sensors are placed strategically around fields along with image recognition technologies. This will allow farmers to view their crops wherever in the world they may be. These sensors will also send farmers up-to-date information in real-time, so specific actions can be done to their crops. This will totally change the game for checking in on their crops. The same goes for the IoT sensors in the field but on a much bigger scale resulting in higher production with less waste – which is exactly what this industry needs.

  • Drones and Crop Monitoring

For farmers who work in fields that span hundreds of acres, it would be hard to monitor and ensure that their crops are doing fine in one quick view. This is why cheaper drones are being used widely across the US for crop monitoring as a means to combat drought and other harmful environmental factors. Also, drones that produce 3D imaging can be used to predict soil quality through analysis and planning seed planting patterns. What makes these drones even better is that they are easier to fly and the data provided will be easier to understand. 

Future of Agriculture Industry

The use of drones doesn’t stop there – they are also being used to spray chemicals on crops while being careful not to penetrate groundwater. Recent studies have shown that drones can increase the speed of spraying by five times compared to other types of machinery. They can be used to deliver things where and when they are needed. 

  • Robotics in Farming

It is widely known that robots and artificial intelligence are used a lot in other industries and the outcomes have been really good. So, if robots and AI are used in agriculture, it would also improve productivity and would result in higher and faster yield. Such robots like the spraying and weeding robots recently acquired by John Deere, a manufacturing company, can reduce agrochemical use by an incredible 90%.

To continue innovating, other startup companies such as Naio Technologies are experimenting with laser and camera guidance for identifying and removing weeds without human intervention. These robots can use the guidance to navigate between rows of crops on their own, thus reducing the manpower behind it. On the other hand, other companies are working on plant-transplanting robots that add a new level of efficiency to traditional methods, and finally, automation is being tested for fruit-picking and harvesting. 

Conclusion 

Changes will not be possible in an industry if it does not depend on digital transformation. As our population is growing, our agricultural methods must grow with it. Farmers will benefit from each of these transformation trends in agriculture, giving them freedom from concerns over the environment, a better yielding crop, and the ability to manage their crops in new and efficient methods. It’s time to take necessary actions with the advantage of the technology we have at our disposal to have better production and distribution of food.

Tags: ,

Recent Posts

Tags

RSS Engineering on New Technologies

  • South Africa needs all available engineers, says former Saice president July 30, 2021
    South Africa needs all available built environment professionals, especially engineers, to build and manage infrastructure for the benefit of the country's development and future generations, civil engineer and former South African Institution of Civil Engineering (Saice) president Sam Amod said this week. Presenting the inaugural seminar as part of Saice's Support Our Students initiative, he highlighted the […]
  • Anglo working towards collaborative decarbonised energy advance across South Africa July 30, 2021
    Anglo American, which will have all of its South American operations on renewable energy by the end of next year, is working towards trying to achieve a collaborative multi-company government- and Eskom-linked decarbonised energy advance across South Africa. Speaking to Mining Weekly in a Zoom interview, Cutifani said that Anglo, which has been looking at […]
  • EOH expects improved full-year gross profit margin despite lower second-half revenue July 30, 2021
    Information and communications technology services multinational EOH says it expects to report a gross profit margin improvement of between 4% and 6% for the financial year ending July 31. While total group revenue in the second half of the financial year had been negatively impacted on by the prevailing economic conditions, the group remains focused on the quality of earnings.
  • Transnet to lift force majeure at ports from August 2 July 30, 2021
    State-owned Transnet will, with effect from August 2, lift the force majeure which was declared by Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) over the container terminals in the Ports of Cape Town, Durban, Ngqura and Port Elizabeth. Transnet believes it is now in a position to service its customers and meet all contractual obligations reliably.
  • OHS report calls for consolidation of legislation July 30, 2021
    Although South Africa has a progressive occupational health and safety (OHS) legislation regime, it needs to fast-track the process of consolidating the related legislation and create a national policy on OHS, the Department of Employment and Labour’s (DEL’s) ‘Profile of Occupational Health and Safety South Africa’ report shows. The DEL on July 30 launched the […]
  • Nampak reports improved results in wake of disruptive 2020 July 30, 2021
    JSE-listed packaging company Nampak reports that, for the quarter ended June 30, trading conditions improved significantly in comparison with the corresponding period of 2020. During the same time last year, most of Nampak’s businesses were impacted on by a combination of hard lockdowns and alcohol bans in many of the geographies where the group operates.
  • Kibo forms working relationship with IGES to pursue South African waste-to-energy projects July 30, 2021
    Africa-focused energy company Kibo Energy has satisfied all conditions required, and completed an agreement with South Africa-based Industrial Green Energy Solutions (IGES), to jointly develop a portfolio of waste-to-energy projects in South Africa. The companies entered into an agreement to jointly develop a portfolio of waste-to-energy projects in South Africa, with an initial target of […]
  • French hydrogen sedan manufacturer unveils first rolling prototype July 30, 2021
    French manufacturer of hydrogen-powered sedans, Hopium, has unveiled its first rolling prototype in Paris. Announced in October, last year, and produced in record time in the Linas-Montlhéry test workshop, the vehicle, called the Alpha 0, certifies the reliability of the fuel-cell system, says Hopium.
  • M&R’s Clough receives preferred proponent status for Australia transport project July 30, 2021
    JSE-listed engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) reports that its subsidiary Clough’s joint venture with Acciona has received preferred proponent status on a contract valued at about R2.4-billion for the transportation infrastructure upgrade on behalf of Main Roads in Perth, Western Australia. The project will start towards end of this year and will […]
  • Ramaphosa sees big green economy opportunity in ‘bold’ climate commitment July 30, 2021
    President Cyril Ramaphosa says it is time for South Africa to “grasp the nettle” and embark on a “transformative path” towards a climate-resilient society both to fulfil its moral obligations in the face of an intensifying crisis, but also to seize the economic and job opportunities that are arising around the transition. Speaking during the […]