Although agriculture is as old as human civilization itself, modern farmers are always adopting new technologies to improve their operations. The link between agriculture and technology has become extremely close in recent decades, and yields have increased markedly as a result. Here are four of the ways in which cutting-edge technologies are impacting agriculture today.
Engineering High-yield Crops
One of the areas in which technology has had the biggest impact on agriculture is that of genetic engineering. Genetically engineered crops resistant to common diseases increase yields by as much as 22 percent, allowing farms to be more profitable and spend less on pesticides. Genetic engineering has also resulted in more reliable crops, reducing uncertainty for growers. The ability to manipulate the genes of crops has been a game-changing advance for growers, and this technology will almost certainly continue to be improved and refined in the coming years.
Improving Soil Management
The ability to track soil movement and test soil samples for quality has allowed farmers to greatly improve their soil management techniques. Soil runoff can strip nutrients that are essential to optimal growing conditions, while failure to rotate crops can deplete the soil. With better tracking and testing technologies, farmers can keep the soil on their land in good shape so that it can produce healthy yields year after year.
Allowing for Better Wastewater Treatment
On any modern farm, wastewater management is a major consideration. Thanks to companies like VaraCorp that make floating surface aerators, farmers can more effectively manage and contain the wastewater from their farms. This is also essential for reducing runoff pollution, since improper wastewater management can allow petrochemicals to leak into groundwater.
Making Farms More Energy Independent
As with any large business, farms spend a significant amount of money on energy inputs. Thanks to rapidly improving solar energy technology and liquefied natural gas equipment, farmers can spend less on their energy needs. These technologies are also key to reducing the carbon footprint of modern agribusiness, ensuring that food can be grown and supplied while maintaining a minimal environmental impact.
These are just four of the hundreds of ways in which improvements in technology have impacted agriculture in recent years. As these and other technologies continue to advance, farms of all sizes can leverage them to improve yields, reduce pollution and achieve higher profit margins. Technology is also affecting the supporting industries of agriculture, including both transportation and chemical supply.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan