Artificial intelligence, or AI, is defined by IBM as a phenomenon that “combines computer science and robust datasets to enable problem-solving.” In other words, AI is set up to solve problems that humans might not have been able to solve. As such, AI has seeped into various industries, as it continues to advance over the years.
Unsurprisingly, AI has already started to be experimented with in the agricultural industry. With that said, this brief overview will cover the following on AI in agriculture:
- Why AI should be adopted
- Why AI is challenging in the industry
- The benefits, AND
- AI at work in agriculture
Why Adopt AI In Agriculture?
“With more technology developing over the recent years, it’s no wonder that artificial intelligence is shouldering its way into many industries,” says August Wakefield, a tech blogger at Write my X and 1 Day 2 write. “Nowadays, AI is growing more desirable, because factors like crop diseases, weather strikes, and very few manpower – especially due to the global pandemic – are responsible for reduced food production and food shortages. And with the global population growing every day, there is a need for more agricultural progress. In that case, AI has the potential of minimizing risks and managing crops and production.”
Why Adopting AI Is Challenging
One of the major issues of implementing AI in agriculture is how effective it actually is. While technology isn’t perfect at this time, that doesn’t mean that AI can’t be improved.
In addition, some farmers might or might not like the idea of technology taking over human jobs. Despite that, some companies allow for AI to work alongside workers, so that human jobs aren’t jeopardized.
Plus, the lack of understanding can play a role in hindering AI progress in agriculture. In that case, farmers would need to be trained to work with AI in order to grow crops better.
The Benefits Of AI In Agriculture
Despite the challenges addressed, agriculture can, of course, benefit from AI. Here are just some of the notable benefits that AI can bring to agriculture:
Using Robots To Lessen The Burden Of Harvesting
While the common fear of “robots killing human jobs” may seem like a reality for some people, what if robots could work alongside humans? As mentioned, AI robots can still be implemented, while human workers can still do what they do best. In this case, AI can lessen the burden of a farmer trying to harvest as much of the crop as possible without having to leave valuable produce behind because he or she is tired. Plus, AI can handle the numbers, while farmers spend more time with the produce.
As you can see, AI can be the “helping hand” of farmers, and not the “new” farmer.
“Businesses are prone to dealing with production costs,” says Jared Butler, a business writer at Origin writings and Brit Student. “Even in agriculture, it takes time and money in order to produce crops. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, agriculture, or farm production expenditures, were estimated at $366.2 billion in 2020.”
Rather than spending copious amounts of time, money, and resources on trying to grow crops, AI can introduce methods that can help farmers grow more on less resources through precision agriculture. Such methods include:
- Data management for proper yielding and spending
- Technology with variable rates
- Real-time insights that identify areas for:
o Pesticide treatments, etc.
- Improved soil management
Allows For Better Decision-Making
AI can introduce predictive analytics, which allows for farmers to immediately collect and process more data, and make better agricultural decisions. Such useful data includes:
- Market analysis
- Weather forecasts
- Price forecasts
- Soil health insights
- Produce readiness
- Recommendations for fertilizer
- Optimal sowing and harvesting times, etc.
AI At Work In Agriculture
One perfect example of AI at work in agriculture is from Sentient – an AI-based firm. Sentient had found a way to leverage AI when analyzing the effects of variables on crops, especially on basil. Such variables involve the following:
- UV light
- Water, etc.
It’s with these forms of data that allow for agricultural workers and farmers to raise better crops. In addition, AI has paved the way for technological advancements like smarter plucking machines and more intelligent tractors.
Ultimately, AI can provide a plethora of benefits and opportunities for agriculture. With more technological advancements on the way, AI is just one tech trend that will continue to transform agriculture for the better.
George J. Newton is a writer and editor at Write my assignment and PhD Kingdom. He is also a contributing writer for Cheap coursework. As a content writer, he writes articles about agriculture, tech trends, and job searches.