How technology can help agriculture
Do you remember the movie "The Gremlins" released in the mid 80's? Well, technology is a bit like these little creatures, it can be all cute and nice depending on what you do with it !
Throughout our technological evolution, agriculture has been one of the first industries where we had to invest massively in research and development to increase yields. We are constantly using more and more connected objects, robots and software to help farmers in their work. The agricultural sector has the second largest technological market just after the industry. Here are a few examples that will show you the usefulness of using technology in agriculture.
The technology can be used in several fields, whether it is the machines, or then the fertilizers, or even on the seeds themselves (in this case one speaks about green revolution)
Animals and Plants !
There can be several reasons why technology is used for plants, very generally it is drones that are used, indeed these machines are no longer only used in the cinema or for entertainment, but for very concrete actions within the agricultural world! We can mention the spraying drones that are used to simplify the way farmers treat their plantations. With a spraying drone, it becomes much easier:
- To treat more precisely the areas that need it and consequently to optimize the quantity of phytosanitary products that will be used overall. Drones will therefore have a direct impact on the reduction of GMO fruits and vegetables on the market.
- At certain times, farmers cannot reach certain locations because of vegetation or other technical problems. The spraying drone would make it possible to reach any location quite easily.
- High adaptability of the drones with respect to the type and quantity of product to be sprayed according to the different types of crops and different types of agricultural land.
As far as livestock farming is concerned, animal drones can have a significant contribution in terms of surveillance, they can have several uses, if the legislation of your country allows it, you can use them to bring your animals to the farm as a traditional sheepdog would! They can also be used to monitor your herds, regardless of the breed of your animals, to be able to intervene as quickly as possible in case of a problem and to be able to save the time needed to make a usual surveillance round. Drones can also help to detect possible predators coming to chase the animals.
Technologies other than drones can be used in livestock farms, for example we have often seen collars connected to cattle so that they can be located at any time. And more recently we have seen science at the service of the consumer, with laboratory meat being tasted, tested and approved by government institutions around the world.
Growing in a greenhouse!
Greenhouse cultivation is also one of the most technologically advanced disciplines, in the sense that improvements can be made to the so-called "basic" greenhouses. The so-called high-tech greenhouses offer a plethora of equipment, mostly fully automated, that allow you to grow plantations more easily and especially with a better yield, but the high-tech greenhouses also have other advantages :
- Greenhouses allow for increased temperature control.
- Increased protection from the elements.
- Technology to capture sunlight to produce energy for desalination of seawater and power for hydroponic greenhouses.
- Elimination of pesticides.
- Possibilities to make organic products more intensively.
- Recovery of water, heat and fumes.
Some groups are beginning to offer greenhouses that can be placed on the roofs of buildings such as some supermarkets, such as Montreal Lufa, which grows fruits and vegetables on the roofs of Montreal and delivers customizable weekly baskets.
Connected Hives :
Bees are the source of a large part of our food, thanks to pollination bees allow plants to grow. Unfortunately, the number of bees is constantly decreasing and the number of beekeepers as well. Connected hives were invented to facilitate the life of beekeepers, the hives can be presented in various ways, either a scale on which the hive is placed, scale composed of temperature sensor, weight, or frequency of entry and exit in the hive. Connected hives can reduce the mortality rate of bees by about 40%, beekeepers being aware of how the hive lives can make decisions that will benefit the bees and allow them to be treated as well as possible.
For individuals it is an excellent way to monitor and maintain beehives, and for professionals it is a way to optimize and improve the performance of the hives, the savings in travel time is also important, when a professional receives the indication that his hive has started honey flow, he can go at that time to move his hives to the pollination beds, no need to make countless trips back and forth for the sole purpose of checking if the honey flow has started.
The technology must first serve the human being, before it took almost 40 years to the monks to build a mill, today, we have at our disposal technologies that allow us to make agriculture and breeding almost without any fear of the climatic factors, with all this knowledge, we could collect and use the data collected by the experiences of the farmers already using the technology, to improve it even more and to be able to finally make agriculture in harmony with nature and in a sustainable way.