How is AI used in agriculture? Discover the future of farming
Artificial Intelligence is the branch of computer science where set up digital systems possess and replicate human intellect and characteristics. The main elements of Artificial Intelligence are Processing, Robotics, Intelligent Agents, Computational Intelligence and Expert Systems.
It is the usage of innovative technologies to solve traditional farming problems and also enhancing quality within the various fields of farming.
What is the branch of agriculture which focuses on protected, regenerated and managed tree planting for commercial purposes such as timber production. In addition, it enables an abundant supply of nutritious food to meet the needs of the producers and the wider world.
It is the type of farming where different crops are grown in succession on the same piece of land at specific seasons or periods. This way the soul is never left bare. Its health is enhanced, nutrients are made good use of, and pressure from pests and weeds are managed.
It is the form of farming that allows more than one crop to be grown on the same land at a given period. Ideally the crops have different maturation periods as well as nutritional and water requirements. Pest infestation and crop failure is minimised. There is also variety during harvesting.
It is the simultaneous cultivation of multiple crops and rearing of different species of animals in a particular location. This type of farming has mutual benefits. Well animals can feed on the crops, their waste also acts as fertilizer for the soil. Also, dependency on external inputs and costs is avoided.
This is the branch of farming which focuses on the rearing of animals for their produce or commercial value. It is a good source of employment. Unlike crop farming animal farming is less intense.
Through the use of artificial intelligence, farmers are easily able to identify and select crops and produce which will be more profitable for the moment. Online applications can easily be used by farmers to ascertain which crops or produce are in high demand at the moment.
Artificial intelligence is able to detect risk to crop yield under the current season. Farmers are able to tell which livestock are appropriate for breeding in that particular climate. The outbreak of plant and animal disease is noticed ahead of time and managed.
Artificial intelligence uses algorithms to give farmers a fair idea or recommendations on which seeds to grow on their land, leading to an increase in yield. After planting, devices monitor the growth of seeds which affects the stations on the next planting season. Automated irrigation systems eliminate excessive use of manual labour. Artificial intelligence is also used to perform artificial insemination on animals.
It is humanly impossible to accurately assess soil health because of the depth of the soil. There are applications that can tell cell deficiencies through images captured on smartphones. These applications also provide techniques for revamping the soil. This activity is also referred to as precision farming.
Artificial intelligence sensors used technology which detect plant disease and pest infestation. Also decide the best herbicides when weeds grow.
Artificial intelligence can spot the best pattern of irrigation and fertilizer or nutrients application. In addition it predicts how best agronomic products can be used for plant growth.
Computer vision gives robots locations of crops and equips them for harvesting, sorting crops and packing. With artificial intelligence, the best time for harvesting is also predicted.
Conversational robots: they can answer almost any question farmers may have: weather forecast for the next day or the next week, raw material prices or even reminders of the regulations concerning spraying and phytosanitary measures.
Predictive systems: they allow the farmer to sell his production at the best time according to the evolution of the purchase price. Some solutions, "risk simulators", allow to simulate several possible economic and climatic scenarios and to calculate the risks of their occurrence. The farmer can then calculate his income in case of risk and apply risk reduction behaviors.
The use of mobile applications is helping farmers around the world not to work or act as islands. It is helping to prevent farmers from isolating themselves from one another. They are able to reach out to other farmers and agribusinesses across the global platform. Not only that, they also get to meet consumers who may not necessarily have the opportunity for in-person interactions. Social media gives farmers up-to-date information about evolving agricultural practices and also current weather conditions. Show media platforms have given farmers the opportunity to market their produce.
Where human labour is in short supply artificial intelligence comes in. The use of robots for planting, removing seeds, sorting and packing harvest, irrigation of plants, artificial insemination of animals among others help save time. The use of technology in assessing nutritional needs of soil determinant remedy for plants and animal diseases and pest control yields to greater productivity.
Feeding crops or animals is the backbone of yielding a bumper harvest of produce or making profits. The wrong application of fertilizer irrigation systems grade for cattle among others go a long way to affect them. The application of artificial intelligence is getting these done is a major plus for agriculture.
Majority of farmers, especially in the developing world are not literate. They are therefore not up-to-date with technology and unable to adopt artificial intelligence in their work. The excessive use of machines may sometimes lead to environmental degradation. Illiterate farmers are also unable to efficiently use or handle machines correctly. Most farmers are unable to bear the cost of artificial intelligence technology thereby sticking to the traditional ways.
A complete state of the art where we review how computer vision works, the different techniques used, the main multi-sector use cases and the challenges ahead.
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