Farming always has been, one of the more difficult career fields to be in, and in some ways it may be more difficult today than ever before. With that being said, the technology boom has enabled the agricultural community to improve on their methods, despite facing a number of other challenges. Artificial intelligence, or AI for short, has invaded the agricultural industry and it can be assumed that the invasion is for the better. AI increases efficiencies and efficiency means farmers get more from the land they work throughout the year. If you’re unfamiliar with AI in agriculture, we’ve listed out a few of the ways that AI is helping farmers out get the most out of their harvest.
AI is Helping Improve Environmental Analysis and Predictions
The storage of data in various forms has made it significantly easier for farmers to learn about and care for their land in the most efficient way possible, as well as prevent them from losing money. This is done through soil sampling and the ability to monitor weather closer than ever before. A soil sample can test for nutrient levels, whether the soil is ready for planting, irrigation levels, and it can also detect pests and diseases living in the sampled soil.
The ability to forecast weather patterns can protect your harvest in multiple ways, simply by allowing you to plan accordingly. Meteorologists are not always correct in their predictions, but as technology advances, we have a better reason to believe extended forecasts, so farmers can adjust plans for planting and harvesting accordingly.
Physical labor has always taken a toll on farmers. Long hours, hard work, and emotional factors all play a role in the management of the farm. Recently, farmers have been able to switch to automated harvesting, and can use robots or automation for other tasks, including crop monitoring and weed control. Fewer hours on a tractor or combine means more hours spent analyzing, planning, and managing. Using robotics for harvesting can also impact labor costs in the long term.
For a smaller scale farm, robots may not be an option due to the cost to automate. This is especially true for smaller, family-owned farms in the Midwest. A cheaper technological alternative would be using drones to monitor your fields. Many farmers in our area are already using drones on a regular basis. The camera on the drone allows the farmer to look over crops that would normally require a drive, or wouldn’t be visible without setting foot in the middle of the field. Farmers can identify areas of the field where the plants are not doing as well, and tend to those specific areas. Pinpointing troublesome areas allows for farmers to save money, as they will no longer have to treat the entire field when only certain crops need treatment.
While the benefits of AI and technology have greatly improved the agriculture industry, conditions change constantly. This makes it increasingly difficult to use data to a farmer’s advantage. However, if enough data is acquired over time, these inconsistencies may become something we can track. This makes AI a benefit to a farmer over a long period of time.
We have a variety of agents and lenders that have knowledge of the agricultural industry, especially concerning financing, insurance, and management. Find a lender near you today to learn more!