June 22, 2017
Written by Jennifer Kite-Powell, Forbes
This article originally appeared on Forbes.
Technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) has made its way into our lives and businesses.
According to the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), technology is about more than better and faster, it’s also about sustainability. For farmers and ranchers, this translates into how food is grown and raised and the role technology is playing on the farm.
Farmers are using technology – moisture sensors, drones, smart irrigation, terrain contour mapping, self-driving and GPS enabled tractors – to produce food more sustainably. According to the Future of Agriculture in The Economist, farms are being ‘teched up’ when it comes to growing food to be both sustainable and profitable. This is a good thing because between 2016 and 2050, the earth’s population is expected to grow to 9.7 billion.
Investment in AgTech continues to rise with AgTech companies taking in more than $1.75 billion during the first half of 2016. Today’s farms and ranches are using a heady mix of data, math, hardware and software, sensors and analysis to go beyond what the eye can see. Technology like multispectral analysis lets a farmer see which crops are doing well by looking at how the plants absorb or reflect different wavelengths of sunlight.