Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture and Farming

Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture and Farming

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This is driving farmers and agro companies to find newer ways to increase production and reduce waste. As a result, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is steadily emerging as part of the agriculture industry’s technological evolution. The challenge is to increase the global food production by 50% by 20502 to feed an additional two billion people.AI-powered solutions will not only enable farmers to improve efficiencies but they will also improve quantity, quality and ensure faster go-to-market for crops.

Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture
Using AI for intelligent spraying of chemicals – Brings in cost savings

Every day, farms produce thousands of data points on temperature, soil, usage of water, weather condition, etc. With the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning models, this data is leveraged in real-time for obtaining useful insights like choosing the right time to sow seeds, determining the crop choices, hybrid seed choices to generate more yields and the like.

AI systems are helping to improve the overall harvest quality and accuracy – known as precision agriculture. AI technology helps in detecting disease in plants, pests and poor nutrition of farms. AI sensors can detect and target weeds and then decide which herbicide to apply within the region. This helps in reduced usage of herbicides and cost savings. Many technological companies developed robots, which use computer vision and artificial intelligence to monitor and precisely spray on weeds. These robots are able to eliminate 80% of the volume of the chemicals normally sprayed on the crops and bring down the expenditure of herbicide by 90%. These intelligent AI sprayers can drastically reduce the number of chemicals used in the fields and thus improve the quality of agricultural produce, and bring in cost efficiency.

Using AI-based robots for farm harvesting – Tackling the labor challenge

Have you ever wondered who actually picks the produce from the agricultural land? Well, in most cases, it is not the traditional farm worker but robotic machines that are capable of doing bulk harvesting with more accuracy and speed that are responsible for getting the produce on your kitchen table. These machines help improve the size of the yield and reduce waste from crops being left in the field.

Many companies are working on improving agricultural efficiencies. There are products like autonomous strawberry-picking machine1 and a vacuum apparatus that can harvest mature apples from trees. These machines use sensor fusion, machine vision and artificial intelligence models to identify the location of the harvestable produce and help pick the right fruits.

Agriculture is the second largest industry after Defense where service robots market have been deployed for professional use. The International Federation of Robotics estimates that as many as 25,000 agricultural robots have been sold —matching the number used for military purposes.

Using AI for predictive analytics – Enables right decision-making

    Artificial Intelligence is moving way faster than the speed of evolution. Could we be in trouble?

Predicting the best time to sow

The difference between a profitable year and a failed harvest is just the timely information on a simple data point of timing of sowing the seed. To combat this, scientists of ICRISATused a predictive analytics tool to arrive at a precise date for sowing the seeds to obtain maximum yield. It even gives insights on soil health and fertilizer recommendations in addition to a 7-day weather forecast.

Crop yield predictions and price forecasts

For many farmers, the biggest worry is the price fluctuation of the crop. Due to unstable prices, farmers are never able to plan a definite production pattern. This problem is highly prevalent in crops like tomatoes that have very limited shelf time. Companies are using satellite imagery and weather data to assess the acreage and monitor crop health on a real-time basis. With the help of technologies like big data, AI and machine learning, companies can detect pest and disease infestations, estimate the tomato output and yield, and forecast prices. They can guide the farmers and governments on the future price patterns, demand level, type of crop to sow for maximum benefit, pesticide usage etc.

Innovative startups are using AI in the field of agriculture. A Berlin-based agricultural tech startup3developed a multi-lingual plant disease and pest diagnostic app, which uses various images of the plant to detect diseases; a smartphone collects the image that is matched with a server image and then a diagnosis of that particular disease is provided and applied to the crop using intelligent spraying technique. In this way, the application uses AI and ML to solve plant diseases. Over seven million farmers have downloaded this app and it has helped identify over 385 crop diseases among field crops, fruits, and vegetables.

To summarize, AI solves the scarcity of resources and labor to a large extent and it will be a powerful tool that can help organizations cope with the increasing amount of complexity in modern agriculture. It is high time that big companies invest in this space.

Can AI replace the knowledge that farmers have always had? The response is probably no for now- but definitely in the near future, AI will complement and challenge the way decisions are made and improve farming practices. Such technological interventions are likely to lead to better agricultural practices, yields, and qualitatively improve the lives of farmers.

The growth of the global population, which is projected to reach 10 billion by 2050, is placing significant pressure on the agricultural sector to increase crop production and maximize yields. To address looming food shortages, two potential approaches have emerged: expanding land use and adopting large-scale farming, or embracing innovative practices and leveraging technological advancements to enhance productivity on existing farmland

Pushed by many obstacles to achieving desired farming productivity — limited land holdings, labor shortages, climate change, environmental issues, and diminishing soil fertility, to name a few, — the modern agricultural landscape is evolving, branching out in various innovative directions. Farming has certainly come a long way since hand plows or horse-drawn machinery. Each season brings new technologies designed to improve efficiency and capitalize on the harvest. However, both individual farmers and global agribusinesses often miss out on the opportunities that artificial intelligence in agriculture can offer to their farming methods.

At Intellias, we’ve worked with the agricultural sector for over 20 years, successfully implementing real-life technological solutions. Our focus has been on developing innovative systems for quality control, traceability, compliance practices, and more. Now, we will dive deeper into how new technologies can help your farming business move forward.

Benefits of AI in agriculture
Until recently, using the words AI and agriculture in the same sentence may have seemed like a strange combination. After all, agriculture has been the backbone of human civilization for millennia, providing sustenance as well as contributing to economic development, while even the most primitive AI only emerged several decades ago. Nevertheless, innovative ideas are being introduced in every industry, and agriculture is no exception. In recent years, the world has witnessed rapid advancements in agricultural technology, revolutionizing farming practices. These innovations are becoming increasingly essential as global challenges such as climate change, population growth together with resource scarcity threaten the sustainability of our food system. Introducing AI solves many challenges and helps to diminish many disadvantages of traditional farming.

Data-based decisions
The modern world is all about data. Organizations in the agricultural sector use data to obtain meticulous insights into every detail of the farming process, from understanding each acre of a field to monitoring the entire produce supply chain to gaining deep inputs on yields generation process. AI-powered predictive analytics is already paving the way into agribusinesses. Farmers can gather, then process more data in less time with AI. Additionally, AI can analyze market demand, forecast prices as well as determine optimal times for sowing and harvesting.

Artificial intelligence in agriculture can help explore the soil health to collect insights, monitor weather conditions, and recommend the application of fertilizer and pesticides. Farm management software boosts production together with profitability, enabling farmers to make better decisions at every stage of the crop cultivation process.

Cost savings
Improving farm yields is a constant goal for farmers. Combined with AI, precision agriculture can help farmers grow more crops with fewer resources. AI in farming combines the best soil management practices, variable rate technology, and the most effective data management practices to maximize yields while minimizing minimize spending.

Application of AI in agriculture provides farmers with real-time crop insights, helping them to identify which areas need irrigation, fertilization, or pesticide treatment. Innovative farming practices such as vertical agriculture can also increase food production while minimizing resource usage. Resulting in reduced use of herbicides, better harvest quality, higher profits alongside significant cost savings.

Automation impact
Agricultural work is hard, so labor shortages are nothing new. Thankfully, automation provides a solution without the need to hire more people. While mechanization transformed agricultural activities that demanded super-human sweat and draft animal labor into jobs that took just a few hours, a new wave of digital automation is once more revolutionizing the sector.

Automated farm machinery like driverless tractors, smart irrigation, fertilization systems, IoT-powered agricultural drones, smart spraying, vertical farming software, and AI-based greenhouse robots for harvesting are just some examples. Compared with any human farm worker, AI-driven tools are far more efficient and accurate.


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