What agritech and smart farming technologies should you watch out for?
The agricultural industry is on the verge of a revolution as it is forced to cope with increasing demands and constraints.
By 2050, the world’s population is expected to reach 9.7 billion, requiring a 70% increase in the number of calories needed for global consumption (McKinsey). In addition to tackling growing food pressures, players in the agriculture industry must contend with current environmental issues, higher animal welfare standards and rising cost of living.
Amid this seemingly impossible task, however, advances in digital technology could provide much-needed answers.
Below, international transfer specialists, Clear Currencyshare nine of the latest innovations in the agri-tech industry and uncover how Norfolk agribusinesses can design an effective currency risk strategy to maximize their profits and protect their future.
1. Smart crop monitoring
Sensors, drones and other IoT (Internet of Things) communicating technologies allow farmers to track real-time data to effectively care for their crops.
By monitoring temperature, rainfall, and pest infestations, agricultural businesses can reduce expenses while increasing productivity, product quality, and yields. Tracking soil condition means farmers can adjust fertilizer and nutrient application and reduce the use of harmful chemicals, which benefits the land and local wildlife.
Efforts to restore arable land and adopt environmentally friendly farming methods can be rewarded with government grants. The Sheffield-based aiScope project has been awarded £1m to use AI analysis to tackle blackgrass, a common cereal weed, with the aim of saving farmers around £580m a year (gov.uk).
2. Water management technology
By 2030, it is predicted that climate problems could affect between 24 and 700 million people worldwide due to water scarcity (WaterAid). To help combat this, it is imperative to employ water saving procedures.
Innovation in agricultural technologies means that there are now more sustainable ways for farmers to irrigate cultivated fields. Micro-drip irrigation systems can reduce water use by up to 50%, while allowing farmers to tend to dry fields during the hottest months (Mass Challenge).
3. Farming machines
Automatic tractors, robotic harvesters and autonomous watering and seeding machines can help reduce labor costs, waste and CO2 emissions (Agritech Tomorrow). Farmers will be able to operate machines in many fields simultaneously, saving time and improving precision for better crop and land maintenance.
Automated machines will help the agricultural industry adopt greener practices and contribute to the government’s goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (gov.uk).
4. Advanced Livestock Management
There are a number of technologies designed to improve animal living conditions and address growing welfare concerns.
For example, body sensors allow farmers to observe an animal’s pulse, blood pressure and temperature, to better detect and prevent disease and distress.
AI can be used to automatically adjust barn ventilation and heating, as well as operate automated cleaning systems to remove waste. The installation of stand-alone feeders can provide feed mixtures tailored to the specific needs of livestock in the right amount (Mass Challenge).
5. Management of computerized equipment
Computer systems and chips can measure levels in silos and warehouses and improve storage conditions (McKinsey). This makes it easier for farmers to monitor stock levels and use automatic replenishment to reduce inventory costs. Accurate monitoring of building conditions can reduce energy consumption, extend equipment life and avoid costly repairs.
6. Guiding bees
Bees are an essential part of our ecosystem, which is why it has become imperative to protect them. Bee vectoring technologies maximize pollination and improve crop yields and soil quality. This is achieved by using scientifically designed hives where the bees collect traces of pest control powder on their feet, which they then pass on to the crops (Mass Challenge).
Replacing chemical pesticides with an environmentally friendly solution minimizes damage to the surrounding countryside and wildlife. With this method, farmers can also avoid spraying water and using tractors, making crop maintenance easier, while reducing operating costs and energy consumption.
7. Regenerative Agriculture
A conservative approach to agriculture, regenerative agriculture, aims to improve ecosystems (Farmers Forum). One method is agroforestry, which involves planting hedges and trees around fields to increase shade, prevent desertification and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (Friends of the Earth).
8. Indoor vertical farming
The average rice yield per hectare is approximately between three and six tons (Mass Challenge). However, vertical farming allows landowners to use stacked shelves to grow more crops in limited spaces and more controlled environments.
Vertical farming often involves the use of hydroponic or aeroponic systems, which means no soil is required. The process uses 70% less water than other typical growing methods and reduces costs because companies can use robots for harvesting and planting.
9. Minichromosome Technology
Geneticists have developed technology to create plants that are more pest resistant and drought tolerant. They require less pesticides and offer better nutritional quality (Agritech Tomorrow). Advancements like this can help tackle water scarcity and limitations of arable land, especially in developing countries. This will be essential to help meet growing food demand.
Embrace a greener future with help from Clear Currency
It is becoming increasingly clear that agricultural businesses need to adopt sustainable technologies to grow and remain profitable. For Norfolk Farmers and SMEsachieving this will require an effective financial strategy.
China, Italy, Germany and the United States are some of the most popular countries for UK businesses to source farm equipment from, as they offer more affordable rates. It is therefore crucial to find a trusted international payments provider who can help you manage your overseas operations and provide advice on mitigating foreign exchange risk exposure.
Clear Currency can help you navigate the world of international payments and manage your annual budget.
Their online payment platform allows you to make same-day transfers and track every payment you make at every stage of the transaction. They offer competitive exchange rates and do not charge additional fees. With their help, you can easily make payments in multiple currencies and countries. It can help you lower your expenses, increase your profit margins, and take the steps you and your farm business need today for a better tomorrow.
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