How Are Agricultural Trends Impacting Farming Today
Today’s modern farmer is always looking for small and big ideas that can improve their operations. Overall, farmers aim to become more flexible and more competitive. With the ever-changing agriculture landscape, we have researched 5 ‘megatrends’ that are emerging themes in agriculture. Farmers need to adapt and figure out a growth strategy that will accelerate their business, and today’s feature proposes some ways to up the ante.
#1 Technology Acceleration – In the coming years, more farmers will be making informed decisions through data analysis. What they have known intuitively is now being tested by predictive technologies and AI. Operations will now rely on aerial imagery, infrared images, weather reporting and sensors to guide immediate and future decisions. Overall, technology gives farmers the chance to become more profitable and efficient while doing more with less to protect the environment.
#2 Continued Specialization – Over the years, agricultural production has become more specialized. Farmers are diversifying their crops growing organic, non-GMO products or high-oleic soybeans and high-starch corn, for example. To gain more time, energy and resources, farmers are eliminating less profitable crops and focusing on components that produce the most benefits for their farm. Overall, a specialized operation will be more economically sustainable, more efficient, and more successful — and ultimately more rewarding in the long term.
#3 Resource Scarcity – A couple of significant challenges that come to mind are climate change and irrigation. Scientists report that for each 1.8F increase in temperature, crop yields decrease by 10%. The overuse and depletion of water resources are also threatening the sustainability of livelihoods dependent on water and agriculture. More than 40% of the food production increase since 1961 has been accomplished through irrigation, but groundwater supplies aren’t infinite. Farmers are starting to recognize that some changes need to be made.
#4 Growing Environmental Influence – Compliance is a significant factor when it comes to growing food. From fertilizers to pesticides, farmers must be aware of a complex, growing web of regulations. More groups are advocating an environmental stance as agriculture can affect the environment in several ways. Farmers are now paying attention to fertilizer use, waterway contamination, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity conservation and pesticide use.
We have a long way to go, but farmers around the world are helping to move food production systems in a healthy direction by keeping an open mind and looking out for ways to improve their operations.