The demands on the agriculture industry are ever increasing.
Consumers are looking for high quality, naturally grown produce. Food waste is a global issue, with Australians discarding up to 20% of the food they purchase. (Foodwise, 2019)
Producers are chasing better efficiencies and are finding they have less land for cultivation.
The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) is bridging the gap between the needs of both consumers and producers.
One of the main technology drivers in Agritech comes in the form of connected sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Farmers now have access to real time data enabling improvements in output, farming efficiencies, and operations processes, largely due to AI-driven sensors. These sensors can be ground, aerial, or machine-based.
Ground based sensors can monitor many important factors that are crucial to quality of produce, including soil and plant quality, animal health and weather.
Ground sensors enable farmers to determine the best place to plant and how much to plant. This, in turn, allows for farmers to obtain the highest yield, whilst preventing waste.
In the air, drones and satellites can provide valuable insight into disease detection, crop readiness and identification, field management, and soil survey and mapping. Ultimately, preventing the surprise of a lost crop at harvest time.
Robotic harvesting equipment can even use AI to pick ripe fruit and vegetables at just the right time. Robots have successfully planted, tended, and harvested crops. Ultimately this benefits everyone saving time, manpower and waste whilst delivering high quality produce.
With multiple application areas, AI allows for the agriculture industry to keep up and adapt with their demands.
Foodwise. (2019). Food Waste Fast Facts. [online] Available at: http://www.foodwise.com.au/foodwaste/food-waste-fast-facts/ [Accessed 18 Jul. 2019].