The UN Food and Agriculture Organization projects that our growing population will need to produce 70% more food between 2006 and 2050. The only way this is possible is for farmers to turn to technology to optimize their processes through high tech farming and smarter agriculture.
Connecting farming in the “Internet of Things” allows all data to be monitored from a smartphone remotely. Sensors in fields provide detailed maps and information on resources in the surrounding area, as well as other factors including soil temperature and acidity. Precision agriculture technology also helps predict weather patterns more locally than traditional forecasts. Many of the biggest names in agriculture have already integrated their farming practices with the internet and have paved the way for new practices such as self-driving tractors.
In particular, the use of drones has accelerated the process of precision agriculture by providing an alternative to satellite mapping and the use of manual tools. In addition to improving the collection of data, these technologies minimize costs and greatly increase efficiency.
According to BI Intelligence, the installation of precision farming devices will grow at 20% per year to 75 million by 2020, with the US leading in the statistics. An average farm should be able to generate 4.1 million data points per day in 2050, compared to only 190,000 in 2014. Other studies have found increased yields across the board, lower energy costs and better water conservation.