Agriculture is one of the most critical industries on the planet, and it’s the second-largest source of employment after the service industry. The agricultural sector employs about 28% of the world’s population, about 1 billion people.
It’s also one of the oldest (we’re talking about the Neolithic era) economic practices in human history. Farmers provide everything from food to plants, and many people sometimes forget the importance of their work. The farming and agricultural sector bring life and nourishment worldwide.
Farming has come a long way since the Neolithic era. Modern farmers have a lot more to think about than ten years ago, let alone thousands of years ago. They still have to strategize and plan for unpredictable weather and prepare for erratic crops, however, today’s farmers also must meet the challenges of climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and an uncertain global economy.
Fortunately, there are technologies available that can help along the way. Read on to discover four essential technologies ideal for modern farming.
1. Rugged Computers
Farmers need computers that can withstand the chaos and hardship of farm life, extreme weather conditions, and dirty environments endemic to agricultural and open grazing lands. You need rugged computers that are built for wet and dirty environments on the farm.
Unlike most consumer computers, rugged devices are designed for severe conditions and come with readable LCDs, designed explicitly for improved screen clarity and sharpness. Even in direct sunlight, you can clearly see the screen. Rugged computers can withstand heat, water, dust, and vibrations. Find a manufacturer who conducts in-house testing of their models, including drop tests, burn tests, and temperature tests — that way, you’ll know you’re getting your money’s worth.
2. Wi-Fi Connection to Crops
Today’s farms typically have electronic sensors distributed in the field to monitor changing conditions. Sometimes, gadgets send data to a server on-site or a cloud network. These figures are automatically analyzed and send instructions to the farm’s automatic irrigation system. It maximizes efficiency by distributing the right amount of water, can prevent waste, and reduces the volume of fertilizer in the water. Farmers can access this data on a smartphone, giving them real-time information.
3. Crop and Soil Sensors
Smart sensors can read everything from crop health to essential nitrogen levels in the water. The sensors allow on-the-go applications of input based on field conditions in real-time.
Modern farmers use sensor technology to measure the electrical conductivity of soil, organic matter, ground floor content, and even soil characteristics such as pH.
4. Self-Driving Tractors and Robots
Self-driving tractors and robots are becoming increasingly common to automatically control the cost of payroll from time to time by humans. Some robots can perform very specific — yet repetitive — tasks, such as harvesting and picking. This allows farmers to focus on more intensive work.
Often, these robots are guided by very precise GPS tracking so they can navigate the narrow space between the rows of crops with ease.
While the farming and agricultural industries continue to provide essentials such as food, wool, and paper, they’re also continually evolving. Modern technology helps farmers tackle challenging situations by keeping them in the digital loop and on top of their game.