When the oldest industry meets the newest innovations, big things are bound to happen. For small farmers, technology is paving the way for success in a variety of important ways. Read on as Social Gadget News explores some of the key impacts technological advancement is making on agriculture.
Places and Spaces
Modern-day methods allow today’s farmers to grow produce in places we could have only dreamed about not so long ago. When space is a concern or soil isn’t rich, there are alternatives which, as a bonus, typically allow growers to avoid pesticide use:
- Hydroponics allow farmers to grow plants indoors and without soil by using nutrient-rich solutions in exchange.
- Another type of indoor gardening is aeroponics, which uses a misting system to apply nutrition to roots.
- Using vertical farming methods means multiplying crops exponentially.
- For those with especially challenging environments, modular farming is a boon.
Field agriculture is still, of course, alive and well. And technology is helping farmers to make a number of important improvements.
- SPIN farming allows farmers to grow more produce in less square footage, so small lot farmers can become viable producers when expansive acreage is unavailable.
- Heavy soil use and improper crop rotation can drain the soil of nutrients, but thanks to certain advancements, farmers can better analyze and respond to their plants’ needs.
- Researchers are collecting soil data to analyze how to encourage better nutrition, both now and in the future.
- Nitrogen modeling helps farmers pinpoint the nitrogen needs of specific plants.
- Similarly, electrical conductivity sensors can help farmers read soil quality and make adjustments as needed.
Raising crops is one thing; getting to the consumer is another. Technology is making harvesting, storage, and delivery more efficient and reducing waste.
- Find quality new and used farming equipment and purchase online.
- Farmers can turn to solar-powered drying for smaller harvests.
- Improvements in supply chain management mean more efficiency and enhanced order fulfillment.
- Local growers can sell directly to consumers via apps, cutting out middleman expenses and delivery lags.
Tools of the Trade
There are several tech tools available to today’s small farmers that ease their workload and boost their bottom line:
- Apps can help with everything from weather prediction to snagging a deal on a new tractor. According to Zenbusiness, they can also be used for day-to-day business management and scheduling.
- Robots and drones are becoming today’s labor solution for tasks like sowing seeds and harvesting crops.
- Smart systems regulate water usage, reducing waste and promoting better plant health.
Technology is helping small farmers to flourish. From making use of spaces otherwise inhospitable to plants to connecting directly with the consumer, today’s innovations are taking agriculture to the next level.