Smart farming, which is a farm management concept incorporating the application of modern IT into agriculture or AgTech, is known to increase both the quality and quantity of agricultural yield.

Smart farming can take an arduous farm management task and simplify it, and it puts farm managers behind screens analysing data and strategising instead of out in the field scrutinising problems and systems for hours, sometimes even days or weeks. The farmer becomes more productive, the workers out in the field carry out more precise functions, these include not only human workers, but robotics UAV drones, and irrigation management systems – to name a few. And as a result, the farm produces high-quality crops and thwarts nature’s attempts at destruction.

So, how is it done?

For starters, smart farming puts a variety of technologies into action to capture the required data to run a farm more effectively and to full capacity. These technologies include:

• The Internet of Things (IoT)
• Geo-positioning systems
Sensors and actuators
Big Data
• Soil scanning
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) such as drones
Robotics
Precision equipment

The future of agriculture is in enabling farmers and managers to precisely measure field variations and to constantly monitor and adjust strategies according to these variations. Just how effective a pesticide or fertiliser is can also be manipulated with the right monitoring, strategising, and forecasts. And this, in essence, is what smart farming is all about.

From crops to livestock

Smart farming is not just about yielding larger, higher quality crops. It also has its place in livestock farming too. Similar concepts can be used to monitor a herd as well as an individual animal. The data collected can effectively map an animal’s health and adjust nutrition according to specific individual needs, thus improving health, reducing disease, and boosting profits.

According to Forbes, the worldwide agricultural sector is going to have to feed a population of around 9.6 billion people by 2050. This means food production has to increase by a mammoth 70% by then. Without smart farming, this might not be possible. The future of agriculture is upon us, but it’s up to the AgTech sector to embrace it.