In this news article, Jana takes a look at how smart farming may change our work and lives.
With current projections of the world’s population expected to increase exponentially, smart farming technology has emerged to meet the equally increasing food needs of future generations.
Already, 50% of Irish farmers now use some form of smart farming technology to improve their yields, such as smart soil fertilisation optimisation, weather stations, or automatic watering systems.
These sustainable farming solutions are essential to supporting and developing agriculture companies but have raised questions about whether this AI technology will make the role of human labour obsolete.
Read on to see the benefits of smart farming and how it will impact our work and lives:
Higher crop yields
The world population is drastically increasing, and we need to find a sustainable way to keep everybody fed.
Traditional agriculture methods produce underperforming crops, but smart farming technology means farmers can consistently grow healthy and even crops.
Smart farming optimises fuel usage and increases work efficiency. It allows farmers and labourers to be much more precise, reducing the usage of farming equipment and saving money on fuel. This leaves less room for human error and wasted resources.
Reduced use of water and fertiliser
Traditional farming techniques use alarming amounts of pesticides and water.
Smart farming makes this use way more efficient by using the right number of resources and only when necessary.
AI systems can use satellite images and compare them to past data before sending an alert to farmers to take precautions against pests.
Reduced environmental impact
Environmental sustainability is a global priority and smart farming is key to developing sustainable agriculture.
We know what the environmental impacts of using pesticides are, as well as the effects of water usage and livestock rearing.
Smart farming works to mitigate this by reducing the ecological footprint of farming.
So, will humans be replaced?
Yes and no. Farming technology has already replaced workers to an extent but only because the demand for agriculture workers is not being met.
AI cannot thoroughly do the job of human workers, but it is filling the gaps in the industry and allowing farms to stay in business.
Smart farming has also allowed farmers to become more streamlined and efficient, but it is not perfect.
AI technology can prune, plant, and package, but it cannot distinguish between fruit and vegetable sizes, and it is a difficult task to make sure produce is handled gently.
In short, smart farming technology is meeting the ever-growing agriculture demands of an increasing population and filling the gaps in the agriculture industry.
But nothing will beat the accuracy of the human touch, so there will be space for human labour in the future.
Previous article from Jana, which explores better prevention of accidents in agriculture.