Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture: Modern Technological Solutions for Traditional Farming Problems
In the last 10 years, ceaseless advancements in AI have changed the way technology interacts with us. We have witnessed a steady integration of technology with our daily lives. Today, developments in the field of AI have shown us that even complex human functions such as reasoning, learning, and perception can be simulated by machines.
Various sectors such as eCommerce, the healthcare industry, and the military are already reaping the benefits of AI. Furthermore AI promises a holistic transformation of industry across the board.
One of the very few sectors that had remained seemingly untouched by modern technology is agriculture. However, the recent developments in AI are promising a revolution in agriculture.
Agriculture and farming involves complex functions and demands diligent human attention. Increasing sophistication of AI promises to shape agricultural processes with precise and seamless integration of advanced technology.
Before we delve into how AI is changing the course of agriculture, let us first have a brief overview of critical challenges that are faced by farmers today.
Common Challenges Faced in Agriculture Today
- When it comes to farming, climatic factors such as rainfall, temperature, and humidity play a crucial role in the agriculture lifecycle. Due to increasing deforestation and gradual climate change, it has become quite difficult for farmers to anticipate future conditions of soil, temperature, and harvest times.
- Each crop has specific nutritional demands from the soil. There are 3 main nutrients nitrogen(N), phosphorus(P) and potassium(K) required in soil. Maintaining an ideal nutritional level of the soil is one of the complexities faced by farmers. The inability to determine these factors often leads to poor quality produce.
- Weed protection plays a huge role in the agricultural lifecycle. If not managed properly it can inflate the production cost and also degrade the overall quality of the soil.
These are some of the crucial problems faced in agriculture. Let us now look at how AI is enhancing the agricultural process.
The Use of AI in Agriculture
With the help of AI technologies, the agriculture industry is yielding healthier crops, controlling pests, and monitoring soil. Along with this, it is also helping farmers to organize data better, manage workload, and improve a wide range of agriculture-related tasks in the food supply chain.
Use of Weather Forecasting
The change in climatic conditions and increasing pollution makes it difficult for farmers to determine the right time to sow seeds. Artificial Intelligence helps farmers analyse weather conditions with the help of highly sophisticated and precise weather forecasting. They can conveniently plan the type of crop that can be grown and determine the optimal time for their harvest.
Soil & Crop Health Monitoring System
The nutritional levels of soil play a crucial role in contributing to the overall quality of the final product.
To help farmers with this, there are AI applications that help identify the nutrient deficiencies in soil. It also helps identify plant pests and diseases which give farmers great insight into which fertilizer should best be used to improve the harvest.
AI makes use of image recognition-based technology to help farmers analyse soil quality. This kind of seamless and powerful applications can be of huge help and a great time saver when it comes to monitor soil and harvest conditions with a higher level of precision.
Precision Farming & Predictive Analytics
With the help of AI, applications have been developed that help with water management, crop rotation, timely harvesting, type of crop to be grown, optimum planting, pest attacks, and crop nutrition management.
The app employs machine learning algorithms to analyse the images captured by satellites and drones. This will help farmers to predict weather conditions, study crop health, evaluate sustainability, and monitor the presence of diseases or pests. Ai can also help with plant nutrition on farms with additional insights on temperature, precipitation, wind speed, and solar radiation density.
While these AI applications that are implemented on a small scale, it gives us a glimpse of the direction in which agriculture is heading towards. With increasing advancements in the field of AI, thoroughly complex human tasks that rely heavily on reasoning and perception will be seamlessly replaced by sophisticated automated systems.