Digital agriculture, sometimes known as “smart farming”, “Agri-Tech” or “e-agriculture” is the use of digital technology to integrate agricultural and livestock production at every step from the field / facility as well as digitally collect, store, analyze, and share electronic data and/or information wih tools to provide to farmers/consumers for decision support and increase productivity.
Trends in Digital Agriculture
World's population will rise from 7.5 billion to almost 10 billion in the next 25 years and increasing of the utilization of technology will become an obligation instead of necessity for the food production to be sufficient for humanity. Constantly increasing demand; limited agricultural lands and changing climates, it is more difficult to meet with each passing day, and therefore, increasing productivity and sustainability becomes more and more important every day.
As demand continues to rise, farmers face the challenges of a changing climate:
- global warming
- changes in precipitation patterns
- more frequent extreme weather events
- reduction in water availability.
Farmers should continue to innovate to maintain and improve productivity to meet demand.
Digital technologies have the potential to provide farmers with knowledge and skills to meet these challenges and seize growth opportunities.
But it's not just about farmers, both domestic and overseas consumers already know or want to know more details about the products they buy. They demand high quality and sustainably produced food and want to know more detail about where their products come from.
Agri-Tech can provide better traceability of agricultural products, providing confidence for consumers and more value for farmers.
Technologies such as weather monitoring, mobile application based digital and wireless technologies for the precise application of water and chemicals, digital agri finance solutions, animal tracking, geospatial monitoring, robotics, new packaging materials, biotechnology and data measurement are the opportunities to increase productivity in the agricultural sector
Less waste and efficiency increase are possible by equipments programmed for variable seeding and seed depths using soil structure and moisture data obtained from satellite images. Thanks to these technologies, fertilization recommendations specific to the location and product can be given.
Drones including digital infrared light and temperature sensors combined with integrated geographic information system technology provide decision support on the issues listed below and are used to measure the health of the crop in the field.
- agricultural control management
Farming and Finance
Farmers can location independently buy their needs for their fields or facilities through the e-marketplaces or digital bidding platforms with online payments. This is causing Increasing competition between vendors and reducing farmers’ costs. Besides farmers has the opportunity to sell their products directly to consumers and can monitor real time product prices from different markets.
Farmers can demand financial needs with their mobile devices. Thanks to integrated applications with banks, they can complete their banking demands end to end without going to the bank branches.
With the field / facility management software working in the cloud, farmers can manage their own financial management from their computers or mobile devices. With the integration of these softwares with financial instruments, they can perform their needs such as credit cards, tracking product exchanges, trading in stock exchanges, etc.
As the use of blockchain technologies in the digital agriculture becomes widespread, many applications such as product tracking from field to the table, use of crypto currencies in product exchanges, crypto currency-based banking services will take place in the agricultural sector in the near future.
Robotics; usage areas are dairy, poultry and cattle breeding industry. Applications include:
- autonomous feeding and milking
- egg collection and separation
- autonomous cleaning
These technologies help early diagnosis and treat disease of animal health problems.
Sensors and Electronic Identification
Integrated digital animal health biometric sensors and electronic identification devices help farmers respond quickly to animal stress or incidents, increase livestock production and improve animal health.