The technological advances that have been implemented in recent years in the agricultural sector have significantly improved the treatment and evolution of crops. Without them, we would have missed many opportunities to increase both productivity and efficiency in agricultural activities and, in fact, many of the world’s best-known companies would probably not have made it to where they are today.
What do technological advances entail?
Agriculture is one of the oldest sectors in history and, as such, has undergone more transformations than any other. The need to supply an ever-growing population and the desire to offer the best quality in food have caused this sector to evolve in such a way.
Thanks to new technological advances, today we have multiple options for resource optimization and decision making. The application of these intelligent services enables the development of true precision agriculture. Not only that, they multiply the productivity of farms and allow individualized analysis of farms, which leads to their growth.
Using these new technologies can also save costs, improve resource utilization, and increase the economic benefit to farmers. In addition, the quality of the products improves significantly, since with these technologies it is possible to know in detail the conditions of each specific crop.
Finally, technological advances (even if people think otherwise) generate employment in the long term, due to the stimulation of productivity mentioned above. This leads to an improvement in both income and standard of living.
Examples of technological advances
The most modern technological advances that are transforming agriculture are:
- Intelligent seeds: achieved through genetic manipulation. They are modified seeds designed to improve the efficiency and productivity of crops, due to their ability to adapt to the environmental changes that occur more frequently nowadays.
- Use of herbicides and zero tillage: the greatest threat to soil degradation is mechanical tillage, so avoiding soil erosion is the best option to maintain soil fertility. In conjunction, the use of certain more technified herbicides can help us with the elimination of unwanted plants and achieve soil fertility without soil erosion.
- Multispectral imaging: using airplanes, drones or specialized satellites, farmers capture photographs of crops from the air, these images provide them with information such as soil composition or special soil requirements (in terms of fertilizer, water and nutrients).
- Nanotechnology: according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), nanotechnology, although not yet fully implemented and somewhat costly, can be of great use for the growing pest risk and will be crucial in the future.
- Blockchain: this valuable tool is a digital database that collects information of any kind. In the field of agriculture, the verification of traceability stands out, that is to say, checking the authenticity of any product without providing information that should not be public knowledge. For example, companies can check the quality of the raw materials they use in their production processes and consumers can check the quality of the products they buy.
- Sprayers: these hydraulic equipment for phytosanitary applications have undergone many modifications, taking spraying technology to states such as self-propelled sprayers (capable of being applied over large areas of crop and offering advanced features, such as dose control or navigation systems) and autonomous sprayers (which do not require human operators thanks to robotics and AI).
Today, technology is advancing faster and faster. In our International Master in Agribusiness Management we teach you how to apply technology in agriculture for better business management, learning the basic knowledge you need to know to do so and all about digital transformation in the sector, among other things.