In 2020, the US had almost 20 million jobs related to agriculture. For most workers, traditional farming has until recently been the only way to do agriculture. However, in the same year, the digital farming market reached $4,770.8 million, and it’s further projected to grow with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.7% within the next five years.
With introducing precision farming, it has become possible to make more profit and improve the life quality of farmers around the globe. Millions of satisfied farmers grow more high-quality crops than ever and dominate the market.
In this article, we’ll discuss if precision farming is more profitable than traditional farming, so get ready for some data-backed comparisons that speak for themselves.
Precision farming saves resources
Traditional farming uses water, fertilizers, and pesticides without considering the crops’ needs–and it’s impossible to provide every plant with exactly enough water when you do things manually.
Soil is not the same across the entire field–it can be drier or more moisturized in certain parts. The slope on which the crops grow significantly affects what the crops will need during the day.
Finally, different plants have different needs, so there’s no universal amount of watering that will fit every tree. Precision farming applies just the right amount of water and also fertilizers, and pesticides to the crops, so that farmers can enjoy the best results.
While the primary focus of precision farming is not on saving resources, this happens when the crop receives just the right amount of nutrients. A case study reveals that precision farming may save more than 20% of water annually.
Precision farming requires less presence from a farmer
For traditional farmers, growing fruit is a mix of business and pleasure–they love spending time in their orchards. However, in traditional agriculture, farmers need to be constantly present on-site to react in case of an emergency.
The pleasure can soon become a burden, but precision farming enables farmers to make the right decisions at the right time.
Imagine getting a mobile phone app alert that your crops need more water? Instead of jumping into their car and heading straight to the farm, farmers can now start watering the crops with a single tap on their phones.
Such an approach implies that people will now have more free time on their hands. Not only this, but farmers will save money on gas, as they will make even up to 4 times fewer trips to the farm than usual.
Precision farming increases the number of yields
One of the most significant benefits of precision farming, and the reason it’s so profitable, is the growth in yields. According to a project by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, yields can rise even up to 200% for specific crops.
The rise in yields will undoubtedly bring more profit to the farm. Traditional farming cannot achieve such positive results, as precision farming also helps mitigate crop failure.
Precision farming provides higher-quality crops
Precision farming focuses on providing the nutrients to the crops. Whether water or fertilizer, precision farming technology measures and applies the right amount of nutrients to the plant. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that crops are of higher quality when farmers use the principles of precision farming.
Seed producers use technology to track individual plants during a specific time and identify its needs. Then, they can produce seed varieties for different conditions to make sure every plant will grow in the optimal place and generate higher-quality crops.
Precision farming enables real-time analysis
Traditional farming relies on hard work, years and years of experience, knowledge, and, as we already mentioned, presence. Farmers genuinely give their best to grow crops and match the marketplace’s needs.
Precision farming relies on innovative technology and sensors to get real-time data analysis so that farmers can make informed decisions immediately. Here are some of the best sensors used in precision farming:
– Flow sensors – In case of flood or irrigation system malfunction, the flow sensor will alert the person in charge and prevent any possible damage.
– Soil moisture sensors – These sensors show the crops` need for nutrients. When the soil gets dry, the farmer gets an alert and can decide to start the drip irrigation process.
– Freeze sensors – When the temperatures fall below 32F, the sensors can recognize that and stop the system from operating so it doesn’t freeze and break.
– Rain sensors – When the rain falls, there is no need for the drip irrigation system to work, so the rain sensors stop the irrigation cycle as crops are receiving proper moisture.
Sensors in precision agriculture present an inexpensive way to improve farming and enlarge profit–they improve the quality of crops, save time and resources, and prevent possible damage.
Embracing technology without giving up on tradition
Traditional farming is time-consuming and stressful. Modern agriculture is profitable because it saves time, energy, and resources while enabling high profits.
The question is, why are farmers not using precision farming benefits yet? The answer is that they are not entirely open to changes, and you need to earn their trust. Learn how to help traditional farmers start using precision farming technology.
Success is reachable without being present on-site, with more high-quality crops and real-time data. The future of farming is now, as we can rely on technology to achieve the best farming results. Results will not come in 10 years. They will show in one season. All that it takes is to use the right technology now.