Digital agriculture refers to the tools that digitally collect, store, analyze, and transfer electronic data and/or information to end-users throughout the agricultural value chain. The data is collected sometimes with sensors and sometimes with next-generation technology like satellites and drones. The data collected is interpreted with various algorithms and transferred to farmers via web interfaces and/or mobile applications. Farmers use this information to increase their productivity and to reduce input costs. However, this information on its own is not sufficient in such a complex area as agriculture. It should also be blended with traditional knowledge and constantly controlled through field observations. The practices employed in the past years should necessarily be considered, and the changing climate conditions should be taken into account. It should be noted that the success in agriculture is through the digital agriculture improvements performed in the field. That is why digital agriculture is a semi-automatic process.
Such technologies as machine learning and artificial intelligence used in digital agriculture applications are on trial across the world and have not been fully developed yet due to the lack of labeled data. On top of that, it seems that this development process will be further extended due to climate and environmental conditions.
There are several industries interested in digital agriculture. Those industries take a close interest in agriculture. Many companies that deliver products and services in banking, logistics, chemistry, and similar industries have their digital agriculture practices. These practices aim to provide farmers with advantages and promote their products and/or brands. However, these practices fail to reach a user base at the desired level. They have no common grounds with the field and are not simplified enough for users to understand. Agriculture is not a pastime or a mandatory civic responsibility. Instead, it is an economic and strategic activity with global connections and strategic value and serves as the basis of the national economy. In particular, no agricultural production or digital agriculture practice that does not take water availability and climate changes into account can succeed. It seems that from now on, both agricultural production and product pattern will be determined by water availability and sudden weather changes.
What are the topics throughout the agricultural value chain of the Digital Agriculture Practice in 5 items?
To take an inventory of agriculture and animal husbandry,
To reduce input costs born by farmers and to increase production
To encourage farmers to act in an organized manner, i.e., through cooperatives
To sell products at the right price
To create an agricultural policy and plan.
Some of the practices in digital agriculture make it possible to take an inventory with sensors, satellite data, and algorithms that are driven by artificial intelligence specific to agriculture and increase productivity and reduce input costs with the help of publications by expert academicians and farmers' experience. Increasing productivity and reducing input costs per se will not be sufficient either. It should be ensured that the right price for a product is determined and sold at that price.
It should be noted that agriculture has become the most important and strategic industry under the changing circumstances due to the pandemic. The future of the agricultural sector, where digitalization is at its lowest level, will be determined by innovative, long-lasting, and sustainable digital agriculture practices and platforms that can merge the necessity of the time with technology in the best way possible.
We, as ImeceMobil, will keep serving our farmers by bringing traditional agriculture and technology together.