How Technology is Reshaping the Agriculture Industry

January 16, 2019

Technological development within the agriculture industry is exploding. Investment funding in agritech has surged in recent years. According to AgFunder, $2.6 billion was invested in agritech in 2017, up from $500 million in 2012. Successful farmers today know that technology is an indispensable part of doing business.

The agricultural sector faces numerous challenges, including:

  • population growth
  • decreasing amounts of arable land
  • climate change, and
  • mass urbanization.

Part of the solution to these problems lies in the digital transformation that is radically changing the entire agricultural supply chain.

Data and technology are opening new opportunities for the industry. Production, traceability and the preservation of natural resources are being supported through new technologies. Agriculture is adopting new technological innovations and leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT), big data and cloud computing. Plot management is becoming more accurate and efficient due to precision farming, making it feasible to optimize yields. Different environmental factors, such as the soil pH, fertilizer, irrigation and sunshine can all be analyzed, predicted and addressed. Technology is improving food safety and increasing environmental protections.

Data is at the heart of agritech. Drone imagery, weather data, historical yield data, in conjunction with the IoT, can be synthesized and increase the decision-making process for farmers, making their farms more efficient. For example, the use of pesticides or fertilizers are optimized using data collected.

Cloud-based data collection and real-time analysis improves product tracking, allocation planning and simplifies logistics. The quality of food is also improved through data analysis. Potentially contaminated foods can be tracked through the supply chain and distribution halted. Food safety and consumer information is enhanced with detailed information.

Precision farming (also known as precision ag or precision farming) is using information technology and a wide array of items such as control systems, sensors, robotics, drones, GPS guidance, autonomous vehicles, variable rate technology, GPS-based soil sampling, telematics, software and automated hardware to improve the accuracy and control when it comes to growing crops and raising livestock.

Precision agronomics is another term that refers to the combining of technology with methodology. Precision argronomics is providing more accurate farming techniques for planting and growing crops.

Agri-tech innovation continues to be developed. More and more farms are adopting new technologies and practices. Farmers are seeing data that indicates agritech results in increased profitability, efficiency and sustainability of the operation. Benefits include:

  • Increased crop production and quality
  • Better management costs and efficiency
  • Measure performance and make incremental improvements each season
  • Better environmental, social and economic performance.

Innovative ideas from around the world are clearly disrupting the agriculture industry. Combined with a growing interest by investors in agriculture, farming promises to be easier, more sustainable and more profitable.

The Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA) Agribusiness Team is available to help you manage your risk. We offer expertise and access to resources that can help your agribusiness thrive. Contact us here today!