New agricultural technologies address need to improve yields and deal with erratic climate conditions. Technologies based on water conservation, enhanced efficiency fertilizers, pest management and waste up cycling increase the yield per hectare of agricultural land.
The global threat to food security and the need to deal with unpredictable climatic conditions have thrown open the doors to advanced agriculture technologies such as precision agriculture, agricultural robots and equipment telematics. These emerging technologies require less labour, enable higher farming efficiencies, and in the long-term will greatly boost agricultural profitability.
A recent research from Frost & Sullivan’s finds that the United States will be the biggest adopter of integrated pest management techniques, covering up to 70 percent of the total crop acreage in the country. The concentration of pesticide residues is found to be very low in the crops cultivated in the US.
Additionally, the reduced energy utilization and negligible release of greenhouse gases using crop sensors and equipment telematics make agriculture more sustainable and efficient.”
While the innovations in agricultural technologies are abundant, farmers are still mostly unaware of their availability and benefits. Plus, the higher costs of installation and operation make them unfeasible for small holdings. Farmers are also reluctant to adopt these technologies as a change in climatic and land-use patterns could intensify the severity of natural calamities, which can have direct implications for the agricultural yield. “Lack of knowledge about the predator-parasite relationship will result in the over-utilization of synthetic fertilizers, which will damage the fertility of the soil in the long run,” noted Frost & Sullivan TechVision Research Analyst Lekshmy Ravi. “Furthermore, the infrequent use of water conservation techniques and equipment telematics lowers the yield of crops per field area cultivated.”
Governments all over the world are acknowledging the importance of agriculture technology innovation and adoption of more efficient systems. North America leads in technology development and deployment, while Asia-Pacific has shown to have the most potential for technology adoption. Meanwhile, the Australian government has announced $35 million in funds to manage pests and weeds in the drought-affected areas of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.