Agriculture remains to be a great player in the generation of revenue and a source of food for many people all over the world. Over the past years, this sector has seen a lot of changes and advancement in the different farming approaches and techniques. For example, nowadays, there is the use of inorganic fertilizer, the consumption of reduced amounts of pesticides, the use of different tractors and machinery. The availability of such inputs has seen the need for the use of natural resources and process with aim of improving agricultural output and reducing costs. The use of modern technology in agriculture comes with a lot of benefits. Read this article to get a glimpse of what the importance of the adoption of modern technology in agriculture.
Technology adoption in Agriculture
Technology in agriculture can be used in different aspects of agriculture such as the application of herbicide, pesticide, fertilizer, and improved seed. Over the years, technology has proved to be extremely useful in the agricultural sector. Presently, farmers are able to grow crops in areas where they were thought could not grow, but this is only possible through agricultural biotechnology. For example, genetic engineering has made it possible to introduce certain trains into other genes of crops or animals. Such engineering boosts the resistance of the crops to pests and droughts. Through technology, farmers are in a position to electrify every process for efficiency and improved production.
There has been a limitation on how to speed the process of modern technological adoption in agriculture. This can be attributed to the fact that speeding up this concept involves a lot of knowledge and the understanding of some of the elements that influence the decision of farmers to adopt modern technology in farming. Institutional, social and economic are some of the factors that influence how fast or slow agricultural technologies are adopted. The land size, cost and benefits of technology, are some of the economic factors that determine the rate of agricultural technology adoption. Farmers’ education level, age, social groupings, and gender are some of the social factors that influence the probability of a farmer to adopt modern agricultural technologies.
Small scale farmers face both internal and external challenges as far as the adoption of modern agricultural technologies is concerned. This aspect accounts for the slow rate at which such technologies are adopted. Regardless of the challenges, what matters is whether modern technology has any value in the agricultural sector. The following section highlights the significance of modern technology in agriculture.
Use of Technology in Agriculture
There are various uses of technology in agriculture including the following.
- Farm machines
One of the challenges that farmers face nowadays is the need to satisfy labor. There is an increasing cost of labor, which calls for better approaches to ensure less cost on labor. The introduction of combined harvesters and planters simplifies the process. Production and time are some of the important elements in agriculture. It is important, therefore, to plant early, harvest in time, as well as ensure that the yield is stored within the right time. The use of modern technology in agriculture ensures that farmers grow vast food within the shortest time possible.
GPS technology has been used in the development of autopilot sprayers and tractors that do not require any driver. Such technology is important in agriculture in that it promotes better and more efficient farming practices. For example, the autopilot tractors and sprayers are equipped with tracking systems that eliminates human error and in the end save on fuel and equipment.
- Crop sensors
Effective application of fertilizers and pesticides remains to be a big challenge in agriculture especially when it comes to the determination of what fertilizer works best for different plans, when to apply, as well as what quantities. The use of crop sensors can make it easy for farmers to effectively apply fertilizers and pesticides just as much as the crops need. Variable rate technology becomes useful in such cases. Such technology gives you the opportunity to sense how your plants are feeling and subsequently help you reduce the probability of leaching or surface runoff. Crops sensors are designed in a manner that they dictate to the application machinery the amount of the resource that a given crop needs, and at what time.
- Use of GPS in fields documentation
GPS is becoming a common technology in agriculture. For example, modern agriculture involves the use of GPS to document the status of the farmland. Through the GPS, it is easy to determine and document the yields from a given farm, as well as record the application rates. Such technologies are useful in that the farmers can rely on the collected and recorded data for reference when making any decisions. The recommendable documentation technology is the yield map, which can be used to offer a summary of entire year’s activities. Such maps are highly useful as they can give a wide range of information about just anything such as the status of the drainage system in your field.
Biotechnology is also referred to as genetic engineering and the process of improving the genes of a given crop. In most cases, genetic engineering is carried out to increase the resistance of certain crops to farm inputs such the application of herbicides. Through biotechnology, farmers can plant on areas that were otherwise considered dry or deserts. Reduced farm inputs implies that the farmer as well saves on the cost of farm resources.
Modern agricultural technology hopes to achieve among others, two important goals – profitable economy and better output. It is therefore, important to be careful with the goals and objectives that you set aiming upon the implementation of different technologies in agriculture. Some of the aspects that you should look at include how to apply and organize fertilizer, irrigation, theatre, intensive tillage, monoculture, and the application of other resources. However, in order to achieve these goals, farmers need to understand the concept of modern farming and the use of technology.