Exploring Key Agriculture Trends in 2023: What to Watch For
As you know, the world is growing at a fast-paced rate, that means more and more mouths to feed. The population of the world is expected to grow by 2.2 billion by the year 2050, meaning that farmers will need to produce approximately 70% more food than they do currently. With this in mind, famers need to stay up to date with the latest technologies and change the way they operate to meet the high demands across the globe.
While working with farmers, agronomists, and people from across the industry, the Picketa team gets to see firsthand the innovators creating new tools, practices and ways of doing things. The past season's travel demonstrated many interesting projects happening across Ag. This article compiles some of the most innovative applications of technology and includes insights from the folks building these products. As our network also sees many developments happening across the globe, please to share your insights on where you see things going.
Keep reading to unveil what we believe are 5 of the top agriculture technology trends and innovations that are set to transform the way we cultivate, nourish, and sustain our precious Earth. Let's dig in and discover what the future of farming looks like!
1. Use of Artificial Intelligence – OneCup AI
The use of AI seems to be taking over in every realm, and agriculture is no exception. AI-driven solutions analyze massive datasets, predict market trends, and optimize farming strategies. From crop rotation recommendations to personalized planting schedules, farming AI harnesses the power of collective wisdom and data-driven insights to nurture a smarter, more sustainable agriculture landscape. Some of the more buzzworthy AI technologies are animal recognition and tracking systems, such as OneCup AI.
OneCup AI is using advanced computer vision to identify, track and monitor animal health, growth, activity, and phenotypes giving ranchers fine grain analytics on individual animals as well as overall herd metrics. Applying proactive alerts in the case of calving, estrus and predator detection allows producers to make decisions in the moment in regard to any additional animal care needs.
2. Bee Vectoring and Pollination Management Technologies – AgriSound
Amidst concerns of declining pollinator populations, nature's partners find a technological upgrade! Bee vectoring technologies utilize bees as living couriers to deliver natural biocontrol agents directly to blossoms. Beneficial fungi are loaded onto bees, who naturally spread these protectors while they are pollinating the blooms. This enhances pollination and mitigates pests, nurturing a delicate balance between thriving crops and preserving our ecosystem. Not only does this help with pest control and disease resistance, but it also enhances plant growth without the use of chemical pesticides. This is a popular solution for blueberry, sunflower, apples, tomato crops, and many other crops of all sizes.
With the majority of fruit crops being dependent on insect pollination, while there also being a decline in pollinators, there is an enormous need for pollinator monitoring technologies in the agriculture industry. One company making a meaningful impact in this space is AgriSound, who is on a mission to protect pollinators by transforming how we monitor insect activity.
AgriSound specializes in using low-cost listening devices to track pollinator levels within an orchard to support the delivery of precision pollination and biodiversity improvement. By placing sensors within a field or orchard, areas of pollinator deficit can be quickly and easily identified, helping growers to take actions to reduce the losses associated with sub-optimal pollination. AgriSound has deployed thousands of sensors across Europe into a wide variety of different production systems and recently announced an extension to their partnership with premium food retailer Marks and Spencer to help their supply chain boost fruit yields without the need for further chemical usage.
3. In Field Real-time Plant Analysis – Picketa Systems
Gone are the days of guesswork. With real-time plant tissue analysis, farmers wield the power and independence to gather and analyze nutrient data at their fingertips. We at Picketa Systems offer an advanced optical sensor, along with an easy to navigate data visualization platform, to allow farmers to assess nutrient deficiencies, detect diseases, and monitor plant health before it’s too late.
Adding this new technology to their workflow, growers can conjure up precise, personalized care for their crops with confidence, nurturing them to reach their full potential. Not only does this new method eliminate the need to send samples to laboratories, saving growers critical time and money, but being able to gather nutrient data sooner will allow growers to make proactive adjustments to fertilization and irrigation regimes, leading to healthier yields and more sustainable practices.
4. Water Management – Dark Horse Ag Ventures
Water management is becoming a hot button topic when it comes to the ag tech landscape in 2023. Carbon solutions have been a key focus amongst the industry over recent years with little attention to water usage and efficiency. Water is the biggest contributor to outcomes around yield on the farm. While solutions for water use efficiency for irrigated farms are showing up in the market, little has been done in the dry land sector on broad acres when it comes to understanding water use. Along with more sustainable irrigation practices and precision water usage, there is a shifting focus to help dryland farmers utilize solutions to help drive efficient input allocation and profitability when understanding where their moisture is in the field.
With advancements in hardware, smart sensors, and data analytics a company like Dark Horse Ag Ventures based in Saskatoon, SK, is transforming the dryland soil moisture landscape for their growers. Utilizing data analytics and farmer owned data, growers now have an ability to model soil moisture at the field level in real time. This can lead to understanding in season yield potential, grain marketing/hedging, and in season nutrient split applications. Dark Horse is trailblazing a path to providing real time analytics for their growers. Understanding soil moisture trends helps utilize and conserve water resources while optimizing inputs and plant growth. For growers focusing on water-saving technologies, it gives them another tool that helps promote stewardship and resilience in the face of changing environmental policy and climate conditions.
5. Flexible Equipment - T-Bin
In the dynamic landscape of agtech trends for 2023, flexible equipment is reshaping modern farming practices. Due to labour shortages and increasing farm sizes, farms need to find ways to do more with fewer people. As a result, many producers are adopting versatile machinery and tools that optimize their existing resources and minimize downtime. Given their mobile-friendly designs, farmers can easily transport and deploy flexible equipment setups where and when they are needed, allowing for better crop management and precision agriculture. By using innovative equipment, farmers are empowered to efficiently respond to changing conditions, boost operational efficiency, and achieve higher yields while promoting sustainable agricultural practices.
One notable flexible equipment company tackling these labour shortage challenges is T-Bin. The T-Bin is a 10,000-bushel mobile staging bin that provides a staging ground for grain during harvest, allowing farmers to reduce the number of trucks needed. The high capacity can also be used for surge storage, replacing the need for plastic grain bags. Go to tbin.ca to learn how the T-Bin can unlock flexibility and freedom at harvest.
In an era defined by pressing environmental concerns and a surging world population, the need for agricultural innovation becomes more critical than ever before. From precision agriculture to farm automation, water management, and flexible equipment, these innovations pave the way for smarter, safer, more efficient farming practices. Embracing change is no longer an option; it is an imperative. It is evident that to remain competitive and resilient in the face of change, we must wholeheartedly embrace these new agriculture technologies and trends. These innovative trends and technologies are fostering a resilient agriculture landscape, for a brighter more sustainable future. We can’t wait to see where these technologies take us! Let us know what other trends you’ve been keeping your eye on this year. We’d love to know! Thank you to One cup AI, AgriSound, Dark Horse AG, and T-Bin for helping to contribute their industry expertise to this article.