As the last few days of December come to an end it is important to look what we as and industry has accomplished in the previous year. 2018 has been the year of advancements in technology.
From drones to blockchain, the innovations and developments made in this year will continue to impact the future of crops that will be grown in the coming growing seasons.
There are seven major companies chosen by agriculture.com that have developed innovations that are sure to make farming and the agriculture industry the next big thing.
- AeroVironment Developed a complete drone package.
For the past five years, California-based AeroVironment has made an effort to understand the markets and technology for agriculture. This approach has allowed the company to develop a system that addresses the issues hampering adoption. They saw a need to be a complete ecosystem provided to farmers.
You have to have a drone that makes it really easy to collect the data, it has to be easy to fly, it has to have a good-quality camera, and then you have to have an easy-to-use software.
When they combined the best of both worlds with their Quantix drone, which has the ability to cover 400 acres per 45-minute flight, because it has four propellers, it is very stable in flight. It has the range, reliability, and efficiency of a fixed wing. Also, its unique hybrid design allows the aircraft to take off vertically and then transition to horizontal flight.
With the touch of a button, Quantix initiates a fully automated takeoff, flight, and landing. The Quick Look maps allow you to instantly assess a field to identify potential issues before they start impacting yield.
Data is seamlessly integrated into the AeroVironment Decision Support System. This system automatically performs advanced image processing, analytics, and comparative and historical reporting to help you make quicker decisions.
- IBM work to fulfill the Promise of Digital Agriculture.
The platform begins by creating an electronic field record as the single source of truth for each farm. The system is populated with information like:
- Weather data from The Weather Company, including historical data, near-real-time observations, and forecasts 15 days in advance as well as seasonal and sub seasonal trends.
- Soil data like moisture at multiple depths, nutrient content, fertility, and type.
- Farm practice and workflow data gathered from cooperative growers (e.g., planting and harvesting dates, fertilizer and pesticide application rates, and harvest outputs).
- High-definition visual imagery from multiple satellites, drones, and airplanes.
A unified dashboard enables growers to easily visualize data and alerts related to critical elements such as weather forecasts, soil conditions, evapotranspiration rates, and crop stress.
- Blockchain is becoming more than just a buzzword.
By creating a digital passport for agricultural products, blockchain technology is breaking down barriers not only in tracking food from field to fork but also in farmers’ ability to better market and sell their crops.
Not only is Grain Discovery trying to bring clarity to an opaque supply chain, it’s also working to move grain marketing into the digital age.
Utilizing blockchain, the company’s online commodity exchange connects farmers and buyers to a larger pool of customers locally, regionally, and globally. Both can view prior trade history, view what local cash prices are doing, as well as analyze the depth behind the bid and offer.
- The Climate Corporation and Farmers Mutual Hail Simplify Crop Insurance Reporting.
This will provide farmers and their agents with a more simplified reporting experience, eliminating the need for manual data entry, say company officials. In addition to enabling easy, digitized insurance reporting for farmers, Climate and Farmers Mutual Hail will be identifying further collaboration opportunities to partner in the area of digital risk management for farmers in the future.
- Farmers Edge creates imagery Easy Button, Establishes Key partnerships.
Hurrying the speed of decision-making when crop issues emerge is the foundation of the Health Change Maps and Notifications function from Farmers Edge. Designed to automatically scan satellite imagery and notify growers of changes in a field, this automatic detection tool pinpoints potential problems, including pests, disease, nutrient deficiencies, inclement weather, missed application, equipment malfunction, drainage issues, and more.
Teamwork with Raven Industries will bring together Raven’s precision agriculture hardware, high-speed connectivity, and variable-rate technology with the precision digital solutions from Farmers Edge.
Under the terms of a four-year agreement with PartnerRe, the two companies will develop new agriculture insurance products, in main crop-growing areas worldwide, that are aimed at addressing the specific needs and challenges of farmers.
- Farmers Business Network develops a crop marketing Support Platform.
With its launch of the Commodity Crop Marketing platform earlier this year, Farmers Business Network continues to challenge the status quo. Those conversations revealed that farmers were clamoring for more support. Products and services in the lineup include Cash Grain Management, Market Intelligence, Brokerage, and Cash Contracts.
A key component to this platform is building a network of active advisers to create a full-service advisory experience at the beginning of the year.
- Plant Tattoos offer insights into water use on corn plants.
The technology measures the time it takes for two kinds of corn plants to move water from their roots, to their lower leaves, and then to their upper leaves. The information gathered will provide new types of data to researchers and farmers. That’s not all the sensors can do.
They could also open new doors for a wide variety of other applications, including sensors for biomedical diagnostics, for checking the structural integrity of buildings, and for monitoring the environment. After some modifications, the sensors could be used for testing diseases or pesticides in crops.