In the green, green strip of migratory farms in Queensland, Australia, cattle graze quietly in a repetitive environment around the world.
Examination, however, may reveal that these particular sheep are far more technical than usual.
After one ear, each carries an object the size of a matchbox – a smart, solar-powered tag, connected to a satellite that transmits real-time information to the farmer.
The GPS tells us where the animal is located and in which condition the animal has and that’s all of us system explains the David Smith CEO of SEARS TAG that’s a company whose based on technology
We have a very complex algorithm for things like grazing feeds, so we know how an animal feed works. From there, we can begin to make certain genetic choices.
These tags – which also look for explosions, or chewing gum, levels, and other aspects of health and fitness – are just one way in which the latest technology finds its way into agriculture.
Together, this increasing use of agricultural technology is known as precision farming, and it is a thriving industry. One report suggests that its global value will reach $ 12.9bn (£ 9.1bn) by 2027, with an average annual growth rate of 13% during this period.
Stephen Fagan, COO of the Irish company Mokal, said the technology was helping to improve the agricultural world. It produces a smartphone-connected sensor the size of a pregnant cow’s tail and sends a text message to the farmer when the animal is about to give birth.
This allows the farmer to produce and do other things, and then arrives at the cow on time, rather than waiting with him for long.
We are learning more than ever about ways to improve farm performance, and then, to maximize profits adds Mr. Fagan.
No one wants to remove a human trait, or the relationships farmers build with their livestock. But on the other hand, if a technological solution can make life much easier by reducing labor time, human error, and common difficulties, then farmers will use that solution without question.
Professor Garish Chaudhary, director of the Distributed Autonomous Systems Laboratory (DASALB) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is leading the study of the impact of technological advances on the future of agriculture.
He says most private farms are nearby. Already, a number of emerging technologies, such as robots that can monitor plant life, have been used in Daslab’s research fields.
The farm will need different types of robots, said Professor Chowdhary. Some of them will be very small … some will be large, perhaps even as large as a composer. There will be an independent system that integrates the team of robots, telling them what they need to do to perform different tasks.
In addition to robots, Prof Chowdhary says drones will be used extensively.
Drones are very good at covering a lot of space, he says. They can go somewhere and spray something, or take a picture, real quick.
Agricultural technology sponsors also point out that these innovations can be used to help a developing country.
TechnoServe, for example, is a US non-profit development organization that uses remote sensing, drone mapping, machine learning, and satellite data, with the aim of increasing mushroom production in the West African nation of Benin.
Cashews account for 8% of the country’s gross domestic product, and TechnoServe helps farmers know where to plant the best and increases the value and quantity of their produce. The organization already has plans to duplicate this work throughout West Africa and Mozambique.
TechnoServe director Dave Hale says they can see cashew farms [sites] with a high level of accuracy.
[Also] with improved agricultural practices, farmers then increase their production and income.
Globally, the coronavirus epidemic, along with empty store shelves in various locks, has raised concerns about food shortages. Some technology firms are turning to technology to help alleviate this fear.