Table of Contents
- Agrotech: What is Agrotech?
- History of Agrotech
- Recent Developments in Agrotech
- How Agrotech makes Agriculture easier for workers
- Agrotech in 2021 and Beyond: The Future
What is Agrotech?
Agricultural technology or agrotech is the use of modern technology to improve yield in farming, horticulture, aquaculture, and animal husbandry. Agrotech aims to increase food production and make agriculture easier for farmworkers.
Using sophisticated equipment for otherwise time-consuming tasks has helped increase productivity and reduce time wastage in the agricultural industry. For instance, if a farmer chooses to use a tractor and plows for tilling a piece of land, the tilling job will take less time than if human workers were employed to till that same plot of land.
Similar technologies are employed from the production stage of agricultural products until the harvest stage to reduce the workload on farmworkers and ensure that agricultural products get to the consumers right on time.
History of Agrotech
Agricultural technology is not new to humans: the first group of humans survived by farming and hunting animals. They developed tools such as the knife, hoe, and scythe.
Then, a large percentage of the population was involved in agriculture because of the high demand for food and the low yield that farming with small tools provided.
In the mid 18th century, new developments in technology allowed farmers to work on larger plots of land and harvest more crops. This eliminated the need for a large number of farmworkers and reduced the uncertainty associated with agriculture.
The Agricultural Revolution helped bring about the Industrial revolution by reducing the number of farmworkers: more workers were available for employment in the industries.
The 1890s saw the development of Iowan John Froelich’s traction motor, which we all know today as the tractor. It ran on gasoline and could move forward and backward. Iowan John Froelich improved his tractors for the next 20 years and formed a company that later sold out to John Deere Manufacturing.
Much later, developments such as genetically modified plants, hybrid plants, herbicides, and fertilizers took the world of agriculture by storm. Agricultural technology has evolved over the years: who knows what next is to come?
1. GIS and GPS Software: The GIS software offers a precision-based method of monitoring fields, plant health, weather conditions, crop yield, etc. GPS software, on the other hand, helps farmers with smart machinery to optimize fertilizer and herbicide application, thus saving resources and time.
2. Genetic Engineering: Genetically modified crops are being developed to meet the food demand of the world’s growing population. These genetically modified crops are designed to have a different growth pattern than the original product or develop disease resistance.
3. Drones: Drones help farmers monitor the hard-to-reach areas of their farms, access the fertility of crops, apply fertilizers and pesticides, and successfully plan irrigation systems. Drones can even be used to measure the extent of soil damage: for instance, in case of a flood.
4. Artificial Intelligence: AI is used to optimize data in real-time: from weather conditions to temperature and soil conditions. It provides a system in which farmers can monitor crop development and yield. In addition, AI agriculture bots help in carrying out some tasks that would have required human labor.
5. Digital Feeding: Cage Eye, a decision-making tool, helps farmers monitor fish movement during feeding. This helps farmers understand fish appetite and provide better meals for the fish, resulting in improved growth and fish survival. Indirectly, more fish are produced to meet the protein demand of human consumers.
How AgroTech Makes Agriculture Easier For Workers
Agrotech is a blessing to the field of agriculture: it reduces work hours and improves productivity. Many years before agricultural technology developed, farmers had to work up to six out of seven days a week in the rain and sun to ensure that the harvest was good. If they didn’t have that capacity, they had to employ and pay more workers. Agrotech removes that burden from the farmer, and it reduces the wastage of resources.
Using GPS and GIS software helps the farmer spray pesticides and fertilizer onto the problem areas rather than spraying the whole farm. The use of genetically improved crops improves yield and reduces the number of crops destroyed by plant diseases. All of these factors increase profit after these crops are sold and indirectly increase the farmworker’s income while reducing their work hours.
Agriculture Technology in 2021 and Beyond: The Future
In the years that have passed, agricultural technology has taken a different turn. The GIS and GPS technology, IoT Technology, Blockchain, Automation, and Genetically Improved Crops are gifts these years have given to agricultural technology.
These developments have reduced work hours, created more jobs, increased yield, and provided food for us all. In the years to come, there will be much greater technological developments in the field of agriculture. Amid all these developments, consumer health and employment statistics should be taken into consideration. The future is uncertain: years from now, we could have farms completely run by robots.
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