Updated: Nov 15, 2019
Farmers have always been innovators and are also great at adopting new technology. Nowadays, tools on many farms and ranches are now sophisticated; from tractors that drive themselves, to cows that text, the modern farmer’s toolbox contains a host of cool toys.
Here are some of the most advanced technology employed today.
1. Tractors on autopilot
Automation is now the order of the day, from cars that drive themselves, to unmanned space rockets used in space explorations.
Now getting your large hectares of land worked on by a tractor is piece of cake. Thanks to GPS. Tractors, combiners, and sprayers can now accurately drive themselves through the field. All the farmer needs to do is punch instructions into an on-board computer system, the GPS is given a track to follow and it extrapolates the lines into parallels on the field.
Trust me when I tell you that once you start auto tracking, you’ll never go back manual steering.
2. Sensor Collars
Collars have been developed for livestock to help farmers keep track of their herds. Sensors embedded in the collars sends information to the farmers smartphones giving a heads up on where their cattle is and the condition of the cattle.
3. Irrigate via smartphones
Smartphones are not just for social media anymore; the benefits are immense in agriculture.
Now mobile techs can be used to monitor and control crop irrigation on farms. Farmers can now start up his sprinklers with just a push of an application button on his smart phone.
4. Sensing how your crops feel.
Crop sensors. Sounds like a myth huh?!
Yeah. It’s now in use in the U.S and most parts of Europe. Variable rate technology has been developed to tell the exact amount of fertilizer, moisture e.t.c required by crops on a field in real time.
5. How about Biotechnology?
This isn’t new tech, but it is a very important tool with much more potentials yet to be unleashed.
You must have heard about the most common forms- herbicide resistance, insect resistant varieties of crops, biotech toxins which help control specific pests.
New bio-techs coming online hopes to improve things like drought resistant traits, nitrogen use efficiency.
6. Ultrasounds for livestock.
The days of Ultrasounds used solely for checking baby animals in the womb are long gone.
Ultrasounds have been developed to detect meat quality before it goes into the market. DNA testing also allows identification of animals with good pedigree and desirable characteristics.
This info will definitely help improve meat quality of the herd and also help the farmer improve his bottom line.
I am sure you have learnt a thing or two. To ensure sustainable food production and attain global food security, technology must be embraced. It is the future of Agriculture.
Adapted from the Summit Magazine, (A publication of the Animal Science Student Association, University of Ibadan)