The human population continues to grow year after year. As of April 2023, it was over 8 billion people, and it’s expected to reach 10.4 billion by 2080. To feed all these people, the agricultural industry has had to shift the way it produces food through three agricultural revolutions—and even a new fourth one right now. Unlike in other agricultural revolutions, though, the current agricultural revolution requires communication and collaboration between farmers across the world. One way to facilitate this collaboration is through an AgTech conference like Rally.
Nowadays, it’s commonplace to attend conferences to improve skills, learn new ideas, and network with other people. One type of conference relevant to the agricultural industry is an AgTech conference. It explores the adoption of technology in agriculture and allows thought leaders to share ideas with those looking to improve their farming practices. Learning about new technologies is an essential part of conferences like Rally because tech drives innovation and efficiency in the agricultural industry.
Before we talk too much about the Rally Innovation Conference, let’s first take a look at how technological change in agriculture has affected the way farmers work.
How Has Technology Affected the Agriculture Industry?
The adoption of new technology in agriculture has improved the way farmers produce food, but it has also resulted in other issues.
As far as the positive impacts of agricultural technology are concerned, technology transformed human beings from nomadic peoples to settled ones around 12,000 years ago. Over time, tools and farming practices became more complex, and growing populations inspired farmers to turn agriculture into a profitable business. With this shift, farmers innovated even more to stand out from their competition, drive efficiency, and improve the quality of their crops. Now, farms can produce large amounts of high-quality food for people all over the world to consume at lower prices.
Despite the positive changes that agriculture’s shift to a business has inspired, the industry has faced repercussions, too. It’s taken an especially heavy toll on the environment. Many pesticides and fertilizers used in modern farming practices pollute waterways, air, and soil, affecting the hormonal levels in animals and humans alike. The production of monoculture crops depletes the nutrients in soil. All of this, combined with the growing population, forces many farmers to expand to other areas and clear land full of biodiversity. What’s more, farming practices use 69% of the world’s fresh water, depleting resources.
Fortunately, it isn’t all gloom and doom in the agricultural industry. Collaboration and technology can help those who are part of the agricultural industry face these challenges together. Conferences like Rally inspire collaboration and present new technologies that farmers can use to improve their practices. With Agriculture 4.0 technologies, farmers not only care for the humans they feed, but for the environment as well.
Why Is Agricultural Technology Important?
Agricultural technology, especially the technology associated with Agriculture 4.0, is important because it makes it possible for farms across the globe to implement more sustainable and efficient practices. By implementing new technologies, farmers minimize their impact on the environment while still feeding their communities and improving their own working conditions.
New technology in agriculture allows farmers to produce higher food yields by giving them a way to track and respond to poor soil conditions. They can cultivate higher yields, too, by monitoring their crops’ health and varying the amount of water or fertilizer used in particular areas based on the data collected.
Automation and updated equipment drive efficiencies and improve working conditions by shifting repetitive tasks to machines and making machines and chemicals safer for farmers to handle. Updated equipment also shrinks a farm’s carbon footprint by driving efficiencies during planting and harvesting seasons and reducing waste. With less waste comes lower food prices as well.
To get a fuller understanding of the importance of technology in agriculture, let’s take a look at a few specific examples of new technologies used in the field and what they do.
What Are 5 Examples of Technologies Used in Agriculture?
Five examples of the many technologies currently used in agriculture are:
- Smart Irrigation Systems: To prevent water waste, overwatering crops, and contaminated runoff, smart irrigation systems allow farmers to distribute the right amount of water to each plant. One such method is drip irrigation in which water drips directly to each plants’ roots.
- Precision Agriculture: Farmers use sensors to monitor and collect data on factors such as soil conditions and moisture levels to make smarter decisions on how best to use their resources to grow higher-quality, higher-yield crops.
- Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) Technology: One of the problems with driving farming machinery is that it can decrease crop yields and destroy soil. With RTK technology, this equipment will stay in assigned lanes down to the centimeter to minimize these issues.
- Laser Scarecrows: Electronic scarecrows sense when birds approach your field and shoot a green laser that humans can’t see in the daytime. Birds are highly sensitive to the color, so it scares them away before they can destroy crops.
- Automated Feeder Systems: These feeders will automatically feed animals the right type and amount of food based on factors such as age and health.
The list above only highlights a few examples of how technology is being used in the agricultural industry today. Technology is constantly evolving, and new innovations inspire improved practices every day. To keep up with the ever-changing tools and processes used in agriculture, you should consider attending a conference like Rally.
Improve Your Farming Practices at Rally
The Rally Innovation Conference is a cross-sector conference where entrepreneurs, students, professors, farmers, manufacturers, investors, and so many more people from across industries can share ideas and hear from thought leaders. When you attend Rally, you expand the possibilities of innovation from strictly within the agricultural industry to five other sectors. With so many ideas flowing in one space, you’ll be sure to find new solutions to employ for sustainable, efficient farming practices.
On top of learning, you can network and meet with investors or other companies one-on-one to promote collaboration. If interested, you can even apply to give a pitch and potentially receive $1 million cash investment to use towards your idea. To learn more about what you can expect from the Ag and Food studio at the conference, visit our website!