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2020 brought a lot of troubles and misconceptions to probably every single business industry. Be it an e-commerce shop that has suddenly closed down for an entire year or a medical institute flooded with pandemic people. Everyone was affected. But it doesn’t mean that we should focus all on the negative aspects. For instance, most businesses have found their solutions in remote digital products or services they have never thought or heard of before. Agriculture is also one of the firms that have lots of positive sides as well. In recent years, more and more emerging trends in agricultural technology are becoming more recognized.
In this article, we would like to highlight all of the emerging trends in agricultural technology adapting to the current worldwide state. And how various companies and startups are developing their solutions.
IoT platforms and applications
IoT projects allow you to automate the entire cycle of agricultural operations for growing plants or animals. Mandatory components of such solutions are:
- Peripheral equipment (sensors).
- Communication channels (GPS/GLONASS, LPWAN, LTE, 3G, GPRS, GSM, BLE).
- IoT platforms (web platforms for creating industry-specific applications that are generally developed on Flutter).
- IoT applications (stand-alone applications for specific equipment).
Peripheral equipment collects “field” information and receives control signals from IoT platforms. Communication channels are responsible for the connectivity and interaction of all components in the project. The platform is required to monitor all connected peripheral devices, manage and store data streams, and ensure information security.
IoT-application forms the logic for solving the assigned tasks analyzes the received data streams and interacts with the user through an interface. Sometimes IoT platforms and IoT applications are one thing combined. IoT platforms/applications’ main application is in crop and soil monitoring for precision farming, monitoring domestic and wild animals.
John Deere’s FarmSight end-to-end solutions system incorporates wireless technology and advanced precision farming solutions and connects equipment, owners, operators, and dealers. The FarmSight service system provides data on equipment performance.
To optimize costs and increase yields, FarmX (USA) offers a platform for precision farming. FarmMap monitors soil, crop, and environmental conditions with its proprietary soil probe transmits data, and provides real-time analytics based on advanced machine learning processes. The open-source farmOS web application offers tools for farm management, planning, and record-keeping. Paid hosting is hosted by Farmier.
Huawei’s OceanConnect IoT platform provides sensor management and hosts the Holmer application, which provides real-time data collection, processing, analysis, and display. Huawei also has a new X Labs research platform for innovations in various industries.
One of the other emerging trends in agricultural technology that desperately need attention and recognition is BLE digitization. However, the main problem here is the usage of all old and analog technologies. Since the spark of digitization can happen very rapidly in some areas, in other cases, there is barely any digital development available. If you have an idea that can successfully secure the relevant market segment, but you can’t understand how your development process should go, JetRuby has prepared something for you. A Product Development Strategy Session – a must-have step for every entrepreneur, where our team evaluates your project and produces a ballpark estimate on your future development process. To get all of that with no penny charged, leave your project description, and we’ll contact you within 24 hours!
Product & Data Tracking
In 2021, traceability may develop when consumers choose the best product for themselves right in the store using their smartphones. It will be possible to find out where each ingredient of the product was grown, what fertilizers were used in the growing process. This will allow the customer to be sure of what he is buying.
The more information and data farmers have, the more profitable their farms will be. Decisive Farming took data collection a step further in 2018 by being the first in Canada to offer producers financial compensation for field data. Besides, the company is providing insight into how farms can improve profitability.
There is a high probability that by 2024, the vast majority of farms will use precision agronomy or other innovative food production technologies to become more profitable, sustainable, and accountable.
Local Market Production
Local markets gained even more popularity in 2020 and aren’t slowing down in 2021. People prefer local fresh produce to imported, pre-packaged products. The key in the coming year will continue to be improved delivery efficiency. Improved and faster picking and shipping procedures will be needed to get the product to the customer as quickly as possible. The more efficient the process, the higher the profits.
Programs such as LocalizeYourFood create databases that allow producers and consumers to analyze supply and demand in local markets. Plenty plans to grow leafy greens and vegetables near its consumer base with full tracking of demand, which in 2018 was a record high for organic produce. This movement is expected to grow into new traceability and transparency certification programs in 2021.
There are three main uses for robots with AgriTech:
- Unmanned vehicles and aircraft;
- Automated agro-crop vegetation systems;
- Mechanical dairy farm management systems.
Unmanned systems installed on tractors and loaders, in addition to reducing the influence of the human factor, have another significant advantage: they minimize the risk of fuel and grain theft. Precision positioning systems also help reduce overlap and reduce overuse of fertilizers and chemicals.
CLAAS has developed the GPS PILOT system for automatic steering of agricultural machines in the field or indication of deviation from the set track. The AgGPS® Autopilot™ system from Trimble, Inc. (USA) automatically drives the tractor with an accuracy of 2.5 cm for all operations from planting to harvesting.
Autonomous Tractor Corporation (USA) develops a modular robotic tractor without a control cabin, the AT400 Spirit, processing, harvesting, and transporting crops in the agricultural sector. CNH Industrial (Netherlands) and Autonomous Solutions (USA) have developed a case IH Magnum wheeled robotic tractor prototype for autonomous work in the field.
Kubota Corp. (Japan) has developed an autonomous tractor prototype that can be used in rice fields, the FarmPilot. The Forge Robotic Platform from Autonomous Solutions can work with various attachments (about 100 different tools). The unmanned Greenbot robotic platform, developed by Precision Makers (Netherlands) for agricultural applications, is designed to perform various repetitive tasks.
Unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with cameras and sensors can survey agricultural areas of impressive size within a few hours of operation. This data allows the farmer to create electronic 3D maps of the fields, calculate the normalized vegetation index NDVI, take an inventory of the work in progress, and protect the land.
At the moment, the agricultural UAV market is in its infancy. PWC estimated in 2015 that the global civilian UAV market was $1.4 billion. This is based on revenues from the most significant commercial drone manufacturers.
Automated systems for growing crops
An essential element of intelligent farming for online and off-line operation is the use of various sensor systems. Sensors are designed to measure soil, plant, or animal properties by electrical and electromagnetic, optical, optoelectronic and radiometric, mechanical, laser, acoustic, pneumatic, and thermal parameters.
Various types and systems of sensors installed on the units mainly perform liquid mineral fertilizers and crop protection agents application and plant observation (weed, pest, plant disease, and leaf damage detection) and yield assessment.
American company Trimble, Inc. introduced an innovative system GreenSeeker RT200, which allows the determination of plant matter’s amount and power in crops and makes the dosage of applied fertilizers optimal. The device makes variable dosing based on real-time measurements.
Topcon Corporation’s CropSpec™ crop scanners (Japan) provide on-time crop monitoring to assess nutrient requirements. Germany-based Agricon has developed the P3 Sensor ALS to control the number of growth regulators and fungicides applied. The TREC sprayer positioning system from Aerosoyuz-Altai Company allows the application of fungicides and growth stimulants with high precision, specifying sowing areas, making electronic plans of fields, and excluding errors in the course of work.
All in all, after taking a closer look into each of the emerging trends in agricultural technology, we can guarantee you that it is going to break the old agritech system very soon. With the examples, we have described above and the companies who are doing a great job implementing innovative solutions, it is already doing it. Various product & data tracking devices, robotization of agriculture businesses, IoT platforms, and other trends are slowly being integrated into our lives.
If you have an incredible idea that touches the agriculture business, but you can’t seem to find the right digital agency for your business, then JetRuby might be right for you. More than 200+ startups have already passed through our technological flow, and the majority of them are already growing and scaling their digital products. And exactly they are started with the Product Development Strategy Session. It is a must-have step for every entrepreneur where our business analyst will produce a ballpark estimate, adjust your current development strategy and understand where your product value might be hidden. Leave your project details, and we’ll contact you in no time!