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Precision Farming: Revolutionizing the Future of Agriculture

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 21:50
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With the increasing demand for food all over the world and increasing focus on farm efficiency, technologies used for precision farming are expected to become more popular solutions in the farming industry in the coming years. Precision farming solutions offer increased farm efficiency, better quality production, and improved farm yield. The growth of the precision farming market is majorly driven by the increasing global demand for food and rising need for crop health monitoring to increase yield. Mapping software, variable rate technology (VRT), yield mapping, and other techniques of precision farming help to increase the fertility, productivity, profitability, and sustainability of crops. Some of the major associations working for the precision farming market are European GNSS Agency (GSA) (Czech Republic), International Society for Precision Agriculture (ISPA) (U.S.), Precision AG Institute (U.S.), SPAA Precision Agriculture (Australia), CropLife (CropLife Media Group) (U.S.), Precision Agriculture Association (New Zealand), and Agricultural Research Organization (Israel).

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The global precision farming market is expected to grow from USD 3.69 billion in 2015 to USD 7.87 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 13.47% between 2016 and 2022. Some of the leading players in the precision farming market are Deere & Company (U.S.), Trimble, Inc. (U.S.), AGCO Corporation (U.S.), AgJunction, Inc. (U.S.), and Raven Industries (U.S.). These players have adopted various growth strategies such as new product launches and developments, partnerships, contracts, collaborations, acquisitions, and expansions to widen their global presence and increase their shares in the global precision farming market.

The guidance system technology holds the largest share of the overall market for precision farming; the market for the variable rate technology is expected to grow at the highest rate in the coming years. The variable rate technology allows input application rates to be varied across fields for site-specific management of the field variability. This technology helps in reducing the input usage, thereby decreasing environmental impacts, such as greenhouse gas emission, soil erosion and degradation, and genetic erosion. The adoption rate of VRT is expected to be high compared to other technologies because this technology helps in applying the right amount of input at the right place on the field, which minimizes the input waste and increases the productivity of land and crop.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, are quickly moving from the battlefield to the farmer’s field to capture highly accurate images of the fields, covering up to hundreds of hectares/acres in a single flight and saving a lot of money in the process. Agricultural drones are relatively cheap with advanced sensors and imaging capabilities, which help and provide farmers with new ways to increase their crop yield and reduce crop damage. The increasing adoption of drones by farmers owing to its ease of use and affordability is the major reason behind its high growth. Moreover, many precision farming service providers are offering drones as a part of their services, thereby driving the growth of the precision farming market for drones/UAVs.

The market for weather tracking and forecasting applications is currently witnessing rapid growth. There are various kinds of devices used for this application which include handheld instruments, on-field weather stations, and so on. Weather tracking helps make decisions before severe and potentially dangerous conditions occur, thereby protecting a farmer’s family or business. The increasing demand for climate information services for the weather tracking and forecasting application is the major reason behind the high growth of the services segment for this application. The climate information service providers keep the farmers updated about the weather condition.

Asia Pacific is the most attractive region for the precision farming market. APAC has large farmlands and a high population growth rate. APAC has a huge regional spread, which comprises countries such as China, Japan, India, Australia, South Korea, and Rest of APAC. The precision farming market in APAC is in its initial stages of adoption and expected to grow with a double-digit rate between 2016 and 2022. The APAC region hold the largest market size at present and is expected to grow at the highest rate in the near future.

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Management of data is a major challenge for the growth of the precision farming market. Precision farming regularly produces a high amount of data of high importance. This data has be stored and managed in a proper format to make farming-related decisions, such as mapping, variable rate seeding, soil testing, yield monitoring, and historical crop rotation. The data collected is raw data, processed by context, relevance and priority, and presented in a manner that could be used to make decisions. A major challenge faced by farmers is to manage this data that requires expertise and knowledge. The adoption rate of precision farming could be increased by providing easy data management devices and other solutions to farmers or growers to use in an efficient manner for their day-to-day activities.

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