Farheen tells us how technology has helped agriculture, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.
With so much of hustle-bustle around technology, thereby, most of us literary getting addicted to technology has really changed the way we look at things.
So, do you think, is there really any field that is immune to technology in the present world?
I would say no because any field that you look around, you will find technology has penetrated each field. The reason for it is that technology has made our lives simpler, easier and less time-consuming. We have a lot of time to concentrate and work on our interests.
Most of the people consider that the field that has been least touched by technology in agriculture. The reality is far from this assumption. Yes, there are many types of research that undertaken by a plethora of new companies that has invested a substantial amount of money and time for ensuring agriculture can see a different approach.
Think of all the steps involved in agriculture and imagine if any of these steps can be automated or can be made technology-driven.
In agriculture, the following eight major steps are carried out from crop selection to harvesting:
With the limited resources that will be available in the future, considering major developments all around the world, we would have to consider doing more with and the only way you can do that is with technology.
When detecting and monitoring the physical characteristics of an area by measuring its reflected and emitted radiation at a distance from the targeted area. Special cameras collect remotely sensed images of the Earth, which help researchers “sense” things about the Earth.
Some of the examples are as follows:
- Satellites and airplanes are installed with cameras to capture images of large areas on the Earth’s surface, providing us more than what we can view from an angle.
- Sonar systems on ships can be used to create images of the ocean floor without travelling to the base of the ocean.
- Cameras on satellites can be used to illustrate pictures of temperature changes in the oceans.
Some specific uses of remotely sensed images of the Earth are:
- Tracking the growth of a city and changes in farmland or forests over several years or even decades.
- Mapping the base of the ocean: Discovery and mapping of the rugged topography of the ocean floor (for example, magnetic striping on the ocean floor, huge mountain ranges, and deep canyons).
- Fire that is huge and has covered a substantial area of forest can be mapped from space, thereby making rangers view the entire forest fire area from the ground.
- Tracking clouds in predicting the weather or watch erupting volcanos and dust storms.
Planting, reaping, and processing grains would make the agriculture process more efficient and simpler for making the food available for the world’s ever-growing population. Plant growth and the health of the crops are some of the important takes robots would undertake. Besides this, robots are also being used for feeding cows. The Lely Vector helps you save an average of eight hours a week because it is an automatic feeding system. This robot offers flexible and fresh feeding of cows. This robot has been successful as it has helped in round-the-clock precision feeding with minimal human intervention into mainstream farming.
For learning more about the Lely Vector, watch this video: https://www.lely.com/.
Vertical Cultivation technologies use natural renewable resources to cultivate crops. For instance, much of these crops are grown under artificial sunlight. Vertical farming is an innovative methodology that offers higher yields with less land, less time, and pesticides-free yields. Vertical farms are being built in new or existing buildings and provide significant benefits in environmental sustainability and human health, minimising the need for water and nutrients, and eliminating pesticides and fungicides, which are no longer required.
Some of the startups that are working in the agriculture domain are:
- AGERpoint: This startup produces nut and citrus orchard management software that uses satellite data. The data is granular enough to provide tree-specific information, like the size of the canopy or the trunk diameter.
- Terviva: An Oakland-based company that is cultivating the pongamia tree, which is native to Australia and India, on American soil. The trees produce an oilseed with 10x more yield than soybeans and have the potential to create a biofuel alternative.
- mOasis: mOasis is making a non-toxic gel-like soil additive that helps seeds get farther on less water. It holds excessive water near a plant’s roots and releases it when the soil dries out.
- Farmer’s Edge: A combination of a hardware and software product that uses satellite imagery and precision technology that helps farmers in identifying, mapping and managing farmland variability.
- BluWrap: This startup uses a patented oxygen management technique to create and maintain an all-natural controlled atmosphere environment that extends the shelf life of perishable proteins. It allows fresh protein suppliers to ship via ocean rather than by air, resulting in saving money.
Each day, there are many innovations being done on the technology front that it becomes impossible to keep a track of every innovation. Considering science and technology that acts as a saviour in fields such as agriculture, medicine, and other important areas, we are hopeful and positive for the future.
Photos and videos sourced by the author from the Internet
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Farheen Viquas is a Senior Technical Editor/Writer working in Bangalore, India. She has worked as a Technical Writer/Editor, Mentor/Coach, Language Consultant, Information Tester, English Trainer, and Transcriber. When not at work, she loves to cook, read, write poetry and prose, listen to music, bake cakes, fish keeping, and embroider. She is also a stained-glass enthusiast.