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Technology Trends in Agriculture to Watch In 2021

By January 13, 2021 No Comments
Drone hovering over a crop field collecting the data displayed on the iPad

2021 has arrived, which means it is time to identify upcoming trends in the New Year. Businesses are looking to create efficiencies and reduce costs while increasing their revenue. The agriculture industry is no different with farmers around the world looking for ways to adapt and upgrade the way they work to meet the changing demands of consumers. Advances in agriculture technology have made a huge impact on the agriculture industry and aiding in the development of a more sustainable future for agriculture professionals. Agricultural technology creates efficiencies in production by simplifying the process without compromising quality. We’ve collected the top technology trends in the agriculture industry that will make an impact in 2021.

Digital Applications

Agriculture professionals are looking for ways to increase the return on investment (ROI),[1] which can only be done if the right data is collected and analyzed. Data scientists with Granular have developed an application that will assist farmers with increasing their ROI by collecting crop data based on location and suggesting the appropriate time to rotate crops. Using corn and soybeans as a starting place, Granular developed a Corn vs Soybean Calculator to assist farmers contemplating crop rotation. The calculator accounts the expected yield penalty for repeat crops based on the particular state a business operates in, as well as anticipated cost increases for suggested mitigation strategies. The application is meant to help farmers understand the factors affecting profitability and how to achieve the greatest ROI.[2]

Drones

Drones are also taking part in the agriculture industry. In an effort to develop a more sustainable environment, drones have been able to assist in crop management, monitoring, and data collection. With crop monitoring, drones make it easier to scope out the crops from above and locate any areas that need improvement. Drones have also proved efficient in gathering information to create greater efficiencies in farming. They can provide an overview of plant emergence and population, aide in replanting decisions, and assess the fertility of crops, allowing agricultural professionals to accurately apply fertilizer, reduce waste, and strategically plan their irrigation systems.[3]

Hyperspectral Imaging Spectroscopy

Hyperspectral Imaging Spectroscopy (HIS) is also making an impact on sustainable agriculture. HIS is the collection of hundreds of images across different wavelengths in the same spatial area. The human eye only has three color receptors—blue, red, and green. HIS measures the continuous spectrum of light for each pixel in the spatial image, resulting in an image that shows environmental affects that are not able to be detected by the human eye. For example, HIS assists agriculture professionals in gathering data to monitor crops for nutrients, water-stress, disease, insects, and overall plant health. Typically, these issues could only be detected well after a visual indication was present, but with HIS, these issues can be detected earlier and taken care of efficiently and effectively.[4]

Harbor America has been an expert in the agricultural industry for over 12 years. Through our payroll, HR, and risk management services, we provide expert guidance and industry knowledge to our clients. Harbor America’s team of experts will assist your business in reviewing and analyzing current and expected industry trends to better equip your business for success.

 

Sources:

[1] AgriBioTechX- Top Five Global Trends Revolutionizing Agriculture in 2021

[2] AG Daily- Crop Rotation ROI Calculator

[3] PrecisionAG- The Role of Drones Technology in Sustainable Agriculture

[4] Precision Optics- Precision Agriculture and Hyperspectral Sensors

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