Not your grandfather’s farm: Technology continues to change agriculture

Posted on January 11, 2013

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It’s impossible to predict where technology will go. Just look at the incredible, unpredicted growth of the Internet over the last ten years (these charts are almost unbelievable).

But, as Bloomberg Businessweek put it in a recent article, the $500 billion agriculture industry could certainly benefit from automation to better meet the food needs of a growing world population. And several innovative companies and developers are looking to meet that need.

The article profiled several new products that could change the face of agriculture, including a handheld machine that tests meat tenderness, a robot that kills weeds, and a “cell phone service for crops to phone home and tell growers when they’re hungry or thirsty,” as AquaSpy‘s developer Bruce A. Moeller told Bloomberg.

Farmers may soon be able to harness the power of drone technology, as well. A company that develops unmanned aircraft systems is working on a plan to commercialize their products for farmers.

An article in the Northern Colorado Business Report paints a picture of what this technology could mean for ag producers:

Imagine a crop-dusting drone plane. Better yet, picture a drone helicopter circling cropland to alert a farmer to the onset of pests ravaging cropland.

The farmer then could take swift action, eradicating the nuisance before it did more damage.

Agriculture will always require the skill, knowledge and judicious action of farmers. That’s the way it’s been for generations, and it won’t change. Innovation is nothing new to the industry, either–farmers have learned to adapt to the market time and again. There will always be a need for farmers, but the way they get their job done in order to meet a growing need could look a little different in the next few years.

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Posted in: Technology