Improving Farming With Technology
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How does technology improve farming? We look at modern farm machinery to see how various agricultural machinery helps manage farm land.
How Has Technology Improved Farming?
In the last 50 years, farming has changed so much; for example, the farmland is much larger, livestock has increased, higher yields and not many labour jobs need to be done manually. This is because technology has advanced so much and improved agriculture and the way it works.
Here are a few of the main ways technology has advanced and improved farming over the last 50 years:
Livestock Genetics & Breeding
Believe it or not, for over 10,000 years, humans have tried to improve livestock breeds. Years ago, farmers would select their livestock based on the climate and adapt to the changes. They would specifically breed them to improve the meat, leather and wool production and quality to make more money. Now, animal genetics are investigated to see which genes affect the animal's growth and health, reproduction, and adaptability.
Crop Genetics & Pest Management
As well as improving livestock breeding, improving plant growth and their genes are also being tested. This method is known as plant selection, which farmers and scientists have been working on using modern technology to improve the crops. To develop seeds to change the plant's characteristics, the germplasm needs to improve. This will help farmers have better yield during the changes in soil conditions and weather conditions. This includes Marker Assisted Breeding and Genetic Engineering.
Labour and Mechanisation
Even though livestock and plant breeding has had a huge impact on farming, the advancements in farm machinery and equipment have helped the most, as they have increased crop production and livestock's lifestyle. These machines include tractors, combine harvesters and planters, become more reliable, and cater to larger-scale farms. The fact that the machinery has improved so much also means that farmers can get much more labour work done.
Livestock is usually kept inside barns where the climate can be controlled, except for beef cattle to keep them away from adverse weather conditions, diseases and predators. The more livestock that farmers can raise indoors, the more technology they can use. For example, Wi-Fi, which will control the automated feeders and controls the climate. Using their smartphones, farmers can also monitor one of their cows in labour.
In the past, many farms would cater for all types of animals and use their produce to take care of the family; however, farms have developed since then. Due to the developments in machinery, including tractors, the livestock and crops, including corn and grain, can be taken much better care of and can also be sold at the local market to generate a profit. Today, farms have become much more specialised, so they usually only raise one type of animal.
Ways that New Technology is Changing Agriculture
Over the years, farming methods have advanced so much, which means that general precision, agricultural labour, livestock health, plants, and crops have improved. These are all because of the different technological advances that have improved over the years. The technology helps farmers with climate change, data-driven decisions, and much more. All these changes have helped the farm products be much better quality and cheaper in price.
Here are a few of the ways that new technology has changed agriculture:
The advancements made in internet technology have helped farmers gain valuable resources to improve their farming abailties and make it much easier. Farmers can also find many tools on the Worldwide Web to help them plan their future crop production; these include farming forums, where farmers can give each other advice, ask questions and help each other out.
Tractors were never usually on farms a few decades ago; however, modern technologies have changed that. For example, with GPS technology, you can find exact locations around the whole world. Therefore, farmers can figure out exactly where they are and choose the best operation for their location. Tractors also have modern features, including automatic steering systems, which will improve the seed planting process. Also, some farms use drones to guide the GPS, which can do some agricultural jobs, including crop spraying, 3D mapping and monitoring the livestock.
Sensors are used widely by farmers to help them have better control over their crops at the micro-level to decrease the impacts that the environment has on the crops and protect their resources. Sensors are typically used in precision agriculture and will give the farmers the data they need to work with the environmental factors.
Mobile technology is always advancing and actually massively helps to farm. Mobile applications have changed many farmers' lives and made their daily life on the farm much easier. For example, many apps can give farmers advice, information, weather checks, and updates that could affect them.
All these technologies make up a smart farming system, also known as precision agriculture. Smart farming itself uses information and communication technologies to create the Third Green Revolution. This means many farmers are using drones, precision equipment, data, GPS, robotics and sensors. A brilliant example of this is irrigation, where sensors on an irrigator can detect the soil's moisture to see if the land needs watering.
If you work in the agricultural industry in Scotland, you can find a range of agricultural machinery for hire. For Farm Machinery Hire in Aberdeenshire and North Scotland follow this link to find out more.