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Did you know that there are over two million farms in the United States? Although the number of farmers has decreased over the last two decades, there is still a demand for up-to-date agricultural technology.
Curious about which technological advances you should be looking forward to? Check out our guide to the top agricultural technology trends of 2020.
What is Agricultural Technology?
Some of you might be wondering: what is agricultural technology? Also known as “agtech,” agricultural technology is used when scientific methods help crops to grow.
With the growing demand for fresh fruit and vegetables, the farming industry has to make sure that it has the latest machinery. That’s why agricultural technology is so important.
Wondering why advanced technology in agriculture is trending? There are two reasons:
- Millennials are demanding more transparency in the agricultural industry.
- Satellite farming is lending a hand to smaller farms.
Did you know that 8% of farmers are millennials? According to Ag America Lending, that’s why young people are having such a huge impact on the farming industry, contributing drones, robots, and sensors.
It’s no wonder that the American farming industry spent about $12.6 billion on self-driving machinery in 2016 alone.
Now: about 15% of small-scale farms are planning to use satellite farming in 2020. Surprisingly, the rate of farms across America has dropped in the last 20 years.
The worst part? The standard acreage that farms are using is greatly reducing. The survey website Statista revealed that 20 years ago, ”the average farm in the United States occupied an area of 444 acres [but] in 2007…the average area was 418 acres per farm.”
However, there’s still hope insight. Thankfully, satellite farming will help smaller farms produce more crops with less direct supervision.
With luck, the Hexa Reports state that satellite farming will amount to $43.4 billion in the next five years.
Benefits of Agricultural Technology
What are the advantages of modern technology in agriculture?
First of all, agricultural technology allows farmers to:
- Grow more crops in a single harvest.
- Strengthen their crops against disease.
In fact, the use of agricultural technology is expected to rise dramatically, with the bioproduction sector amounting to $100 billion in 2020.
Want to know the best part? Statista cited that “over the last decade, the issue of genetic engineering has increasingly been on the agenda.”
It gets better: agricultural technology has helped to protect plants from the effects of pesticides. The proof? Statista says that “In 2016, some 94% of all soybeans planted in the U.S. were genetically modified so as to be herbicide tolerant.”
Another perk of agtech is that the prices of certain crops have been reduced. For example, buying corn is much cheaper nowadays thanks to precision agriculture. Astonishingly, the price of corn has literally been slashed in half!
As agricultural technology grows, farmers should be aware of:
- Changes in farm ownership
- Advances in science
For instance, the standard farmer is between 57 and 65 years old. That means that many of them are planning to retire soon, giving their farm to their children.
How much is a farm worth, anyway? If you’re a farmer located in the Midwest region, then your farm could be worth up to $10 million.
What could be bad about advances in science? Of course, there’s nothing wrong with adding science to farming. The only problem is that some farmers might not want to accept new ways of doing things.
With things like satellite photography, maps for soil, and sensors for greenery, there’s a lot of new technological trends to adapt to in 2020.
Future of Agriculture Technology
What is the future of agriculture technology? The answer is simple: drones, robots, and sensors. Not to mention that farmers can use scientific data to better understand their crops.
For example, crop sensors are some of the most exciting technology on the market now. They can link robots to satellite farming procedures. After collecting sensor data, farmers can find out exactly what their crop needs and how much of it.
That’s why so many more small-scale farms will be using agricultural technology by the year 2024. Meanwhile, drones and other technological instruments are still in the testing phase.
This is great news for the agricultural sector. As a matter of fact, the Robotics Business Review says that agriculture technology will help to lower the cost of labor for farmers. However, it is very expensive to use.
Not only is it costly for farmers to buy agricultural technology, but it’s also pricey for manufacturers to build the right tools for a reasonable price.
Nevertheless, there are still a lot of good reasons to invest in agtech, including:
- Rapidly increasing food production
- Feeding the hungry across the world
Did you know that the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs predicts there will be 11.2 billion people in 2100?
That means that there has to be a rapid increase in food production to feed so many hungry mouths.
Still curious? You can always read more about agricultural technology online!
AgTech is Trending in 2020
What’s the bottom line? Agricultural technology is getting more advanced every year. Even though the number of farmers has decreased, the world’s population is still growing.
With agricultural technology, farms have a chance to increase their food production to meet the needs of people around the globe.
Plus, more small-scale farms are planning to use agricultural technology to help their crops in the future too. It looks like agtech really is trending in 2020!
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