Like any other industry, technology is changing the ways of agricultural operations too. To improve the production, management and harvest of a good crop and yield, research and developments in machinery, software and genetics are always underway.
Precision Agricultural Technology: It is one of the greatest innovations in farming technology and the latest approach to farming, widely adopted by agricultural engineers in the West. Precision agricultural technology is a novel approach to managing a farm using Information Technology as a primary tool, along with specialised software equipment, to ensure that the optimum requirements to grow the plant are fulfilled. This process eventually assures complete profitability and is a sustainable and environmentally friendly approach. Other terminologies for precision agriculture include satellite agriculture and site-specific crop management.
Big Data in Farming: Smart farming is now a reality owing to the application of big data information and communication technologies to farm management. Combines and tractors are tracking every inch of land, calculating soil type, seed placement, chemical application, etc. Software can then take this data and create personalized recommendations. The Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing are some of the innovations that is leveraging the introduction of robotic technologies into farming. Sensors, robots, drones and the establishment of a cyber-physical system hooked up to smart devices are already quite popular in use. These innovations influence the entire process, right from primary production stages, all the way up to the completion of the whole food supply chain.
Mobile Applications for Agriculturists: Agricultural engineers have kept in mind that technologies should be accessible at even a grassroot level and what’s more common nowadays than a smartphone? Once installed, agricultural apps allow farmers to avail cost reductions on services, maximise their yield and earn higher profits on their crop. From apps providing information regarding weather, to market prices for crops and updates on the field, everything is just a click away.
Crop Biotechnology (Agritech): Using scientific tools and techniques to transform primarily plans and sometimes animals and microorganisms, comes under a speciality of agricultural engineering referred to as agricultural biotechnology. The use of genetic engineering, molecular diagnostics, molecular markers, tissue cultures and vaccines is at present quite widespread. This allows farmers to produce crops that possess desirable characteristics and resistance to diseases, therefore enabling higher profit margins and reduced waste.
As technology advances in farming, this is a great and exciting time to be doing agricultural engineering.