Feeding nearly 10 billion people worldwide by 2050 on less farmable land is a daunting challenge. But farmers are rising to that challenge with their ingenuity and time-tested ability to adapt. Today farmers use a range of modern insights, data and tools to improve the quality and quantity of their yield while making more efficient use of limited resources. “Ag tech” refers to the use of technology — especially software, machine learning and data analytics — to optimize food production.
Some examples of ag tech include:
Automation, such as self-guided tractors, planters and other equipment.
Precision agriculture tools, which use data and modeling capabilities to inform farmers’ practices. For example, crop tissue testing that measures the health and performance of crops and how farmers manage nutrients in their fields.
Robotics, which help create efficiencies on dairies and in animal feed plants.
Virtual reality, via satellites and autonomous drones, that offer farmers a more holistic look at their farms and the ability check in on the health of their livestock.
The ag tech industry has grown in recent years to include startups, accelerators and food-focused venture capitalists. But innovation is nothing new to farmers, and as a nearly 100-year-old farmer-owned co-op, we know that when farmers innovate they contribute to something greater.
Advances in ag tech can:
Help farmers measure, track and continuously improve their environmental footprint.
Support on-farm profitability, keeping farming viable for future generations.
Feed a booming global population while making more efficient use of limited natural resources.
There are many ways to learn more about new technology in farming:
Read the stories from the farmers and local ag retailers who own our co-op in our member stories.
Find out just what a Chief Technology Officer at a farmer-owned co-op does.
Listen to our Something Greater podcast and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.