With 2050 earmarked to be the year in which the world’s projected population reaches the 9 billion mark, the agricultural sector will undoubtedly be put under a lot more pressure than what it already has to contend with. The expected subsequent spike in consumption will have to be accounted for with modern farming methods that can keep up with the demand, but fortunately there is already some technology which is being developed in preparation for that.
Two pieces of tech in particular are coming to the fore as identified areas of agricultural technology development, namely drones and autonomous vehicles.
Drone technology in the agricultural context has us witnessing drones which are specifically designed and built for farming practices, with the most basic of these farming drones completing traditional agricultural tasks much, much faster than the average farm worker could manage. Farming drones are becoming adept at irrigation, planting, spraying of crops and even monitoring.
It goes way beyond the mere completion of farming related tasks though. What drones bring to the farming sphere is more effective planning and estimation of important indicators such as crop yield and the speed at which the yield is going to be produced. The use of time-series animation means technology that once entailed expensive satellites can now be recreated in a much cheaper way, through the use of drones. Now the crop’s likelihood to fail or to meet the targets set for it can be monitored and predicted through simulations that are quite accurate to say the least.
Autonomous farm vehicles
Beyond the commercial transportation industry, autonomous vehicles seem to be finding a home in agriculture, with the likes of remotely operated tractors.
Explaining the potential benefits of the developments, Mr Kit Franklin told the Daily Mail: “These small autonomous machines will in turn facilitate high resolution precision farming, where different areas of the field, and possibly even individual plants can be treated separately, optimising and potentially reducing inputs being used in field agriculture.
“The tractor driver won’t be physically in the tractor driving up and down a field. Instead, they will be a fleet manager and agricultural analysts, looking after a number of farming robots and meticulously monitoring the development of their crops.”
Franklin makes up one third of a team of engineers from the Harper Adams University in Shropshire, with the other two players in the team including Johnathan Gill and Martin Abell, who are at the cutting edge of overseeing the development of this autonomous farming vehicle technology, which includes an automated combine harvester that allows for the harvesting of the same land.
The importance of farm equipment insurance
Whether your preference as a farmer is to use traditional farming methods with the use of traditional tools and equipment or indeed if you can be referred to as the ultimate 21st century farmer, your tools and equipment need to be insured either way. Farm insurance leaders, Lycetts can give you a good indication of what sort of coverage to take out in line with all the different types of cover they offer, with which you can even insure modern day farming equipment such as drones and autonomous vehicles.