The robotisation of the farm – agriculture is sexy again

The rise of extreme automation in the agricultural sector is just as significant as the tractor that replaced the farm horse back in the day. If we look at agriculture in 2025, developments such as drone technology, self-driving systems and picking robots will be the order of the day. According to calculations by the world food organisation, by the year 2030 we’ll need fifty percent more food in the world. With these new technologies, this could potentially be realised. As half of the current jobs in agriculture are expected to disappear, costs can be significantly reduced and as a result, quality and volumes can increase. There is a huge challenge however, to get traditional agriculture on board with these developments.

Automatic climate control and picking robots

Thanks to precision farming, it’s all systems go for extensive implementation of full scale robotics in horticulture and agriculture. Not only will we see automatic climate systems, we’ll also have robots responsible for the growth of tomatoes, grape picking and sugar beet harvesting. The automated sprinkler systems will enable us to reduce the use of pesticides with eighty percent! The farmer of the future will also be increasingly ‘office-bound’ as he’ll start operating his farm from his computer or smartphone.

Drones and sensors will be the main trends in agriculture

Drones can be deployed to inspect and report back on what happens on large pieces of farm land. Crops that don’t perform optimally can either receive additional fertiliser or extra pesticide. This can lead to substantial savings and increased turnovers. Cattle that have gone missing can be located with drones and diseases can also be picked up through drone surveillance. Sensors in the fields can pick up weather patterns as well as fertiliser levels. This data can help make predictions of yield across crops.

Agriculture is sexy again but the old establishment needs to get on board with the new technology

Young farmers’ sons and daughters with a technical education will be going back to agricultural industry. The future of farming is looking sexy and the next generation of farmers will get fully involved again. Traditional farmers are hesitant to deal with and adopt the new technology. They prefer the old tried and tested way. The 29-year-old Jan Huitema, however, MEP in the Agriculture and Environment Committee, has some excellent ideas and he is only too happy to take Dutch farmers into the future.

Read also: Smart farming: the new agricultural benchmark

All hands on deck

It’s all hands on deck and all systems go as we set our sights on the future. More efficiency, better nutritional value, increased volumes and better quality. The entire agricultural industry will be evolving into a sustainable manufacturing sector with respect for humans, animals and the environment. Are you ready to come on board?

This article is written by Richard van Hooijdonk

This article is written by Richard van Hooijdonk

Trendwatcher, futurist and international keynote speaker Richard van Hooijdonk takes you to an inspiring future that will dramatically change the way we live, work and do business.

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