5 reasons why technology is changing agriculture

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5 reasons why technology is changing agriculture

There are few industries that have been transformed by technology in quite the same was as agriculture. From hand-held tools to machinery to digitally-driven solutions, agriculture has continued to evolve as farmers seek out smarter, more efficient ways of increasing yield.

As digitisation has become more accessible, even to areas that were previously considered too remote for an internet connection, farmers have embraced technology to optimise the performance of their farming business.


Here are 5 ways that technology is changing agriculture:

1. Greater GPS technology

Given the speed at which technology has evolved, Global Positioning System (GPS) technology itself is not what we’d call new. It was first introduced into farming by John Deere, who added GPS technology to tractors in the early 1990s. The first iterations of these tractors allowed farmers to steer machinery based on field coordinates. Since then though, GPS technology has continued to become more and more innovative. Now, just about any piece of on-farm machinery has the ability to connect digitally to different applications. GPS applications are now used for farm planning, field mapping, soil sampling, crop analysis, variable rate applications and yield mapping. Tools like DecipherAg use satellite images and geospatial data to deliver reliable vegetation analysis. GPS-guide drones are also being used to carry out tasks such as crop spraying and livestock monitoring.


2. Mobile technology puts the farm in the palm of your hand

From the palm of their hand, farmers are able to get a clear picture of where their farming business stands. Mobile applications allow farmers to collect, receive and view on-farm data, operate on-farm technology, communicate with their team or external advisors, and access relevant news or weather updates that could impact their operation. Consider a dairy farmer who gets an instant notification to their phone with milk production and price before the tanker has even left their driveway. Or a producer who can collaborate with their agronomist in real-time right from the farm shed.

3. Insightful sensor technology

Sensor technology is increasingly pervasive, providing farmers with incredible insights that allow them to manage their farm with greater precision. Sensors are being used to monitor everything from soil quality, moisture to weather conditions and crop weight. These sensors allow farmers to use resources more efficiently, reducing wastage and therefore lowering cost.

4. Aggregated data for improved farm performance

Cloud technology has opened up a world of data sharing, not only between farming teams, but also between farming communities. With the depth of data available, aggregated data platforms pull together farming data into one place, where farmers and their advisors can get a clear snapshot of overall farm performance, rather than viewing information in siloed systems. Information from various systems flows in, and is integrated with data from other relevant platforms, making it easy to spot trends and analyse performance. Where this is also beneficial is that farmers can then benchmark their own farm performance against others with similar farms in their area. This insight can help farmers refine their own practice to help optimise farm performance.

5. Variable rate technology for accurate application

Variable rate application focuses on the automated application of resources on a farm. The way the materials are applied, and how much is applied, is determined by data that is collected with the help of sensors and GPS mapping. This could be the application of fertiliser, chemicals or seeds. Variable rate technology has come about through the combination of other forms of technology – artificial intelligence, satellite mapping and drone technology. It detects certain information about a given area of land, and makes application decisions based on that information. Benefits include cost saving through more accurate with their use of resources, increased yield through targeted application and environmental protection from a reduction in chemicals.


All five of these innovations combine to make up what is termed ‘precision agriculture’ – essentially, the use of specialised equipment and advanced analytics which take the guesswork out of farming. It’s exciting to see the positive impact that technology is having in helping farmers meet the demands of a growing population. With access to tools that boost efficiency and fuel productivity, more producers are seeing a positive impact on their bottom line.


DecipherAg is a solution that leverages technology outlined above to give growers and agronomists the knowledge they need to optimise yield and return-on-investment. Find out more, or try it for free for yourself here:


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