ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN AGRICULTURE
Today’s era is an era of technology and our agriculture sector is also not left behind. Farmers need more efficient and improved quality of machinery which helps them in the best possible way so as to grow an increasing number of healthy and high quality crops.
One such technology that is becoming the center of attraction in the field of agriculture these days is ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE.
We are going to discuss it in detail in this article.
WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE?
AI is a branch of computer science that helps to develop new machine and techniques which further help in manual work. It emphasizes human working and learning.
Quoting about AI as said by JEFF BEZOS,
“We are the beginning of a golden age of AI . Recent advancements have already led to invention that has previously led the realm and we have scratched only the surface of what’s possible.” -Jeff Bezos
EXAMPLES OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
- Use of robots in Agriculture
- Self driving Tractors
- Disease mapping , etc.
YOU SHOULD NOT TO FORGET BASIC 7 STEPS FOR AGRICULTURE.
STAGES OF AGRICULTURE
It is divided into 7 steps or stages which are as follows.
- The process of agriculture starts with preparation of soil .It is the very first step. Here, the soil is loosened so that the roots can penetrate deep into it leading to better growth . This is done with a plough, hoe, etc. and is hence also known as ploughing.
- The second step is sowing of seeds. It is one of the most important step in agriculture. After the soil is loosened and is ready , the healthy and good quality seeds are sown and left for it to germinate .
- The next step is to add fertilizers. Nutrients like Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium are the most important.
- Then comes the stage of irrigation where the water is supplied artificially to the plants for its better growth .
- The fifth stage involves weed protection. It is a pre- harvesting step in agriculture.
- The very next step is harvesting .It occurs in four steps :
- 7. The final stage is storage of crops and its protection until it reaches the end user.
PROBLEMS FACED IN TRADITIONAL METHODS OF AGRICULTURE
- The climatic changes – Due to increasing population the land has become scarce and the needs are increasing day by day leading to deforestation and pollution. This is leading to climatic changes which are uncontrollable and are harming the growth of plants .
- Nutrients – The production system can increase the nutritional value of the crops. Some of the main ones are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Their deficiency will lead to much loss of quality of crops .
- Weed protection – It is very important to protect the crops from weeds as they compete with the plants for sunlight, nutrients, food, space and other necessities of life .
What are Sensors in Agriculture
Farmers use a number of sensing technologies for precision agriculture to monitor and optimize their crops as well as to adapt to the changing environmental factors. These sensing technologies are termed as Sensors in Agriculture and are vastly used due to their multiple purposes.
Different types of sensors used in Agriculture:
- Location Sensors
- Optical Sensors
- Electrochemical Sensors
- Mechanical Sensors
- Dielectric soil moisture Sensors
- Airflow Sensors
Role of sensors in Agriculture
Precision agriculture helps in meeting the increased worldwide demand for food. These technologies make it simpler and cheaper to collect and apply data, also to adapt to the changing environmental conditions, and can use resources most efficiently. Although it was limited to large farms, smaller farms are now able to benefit as well, using tools built into smartphones, relevant applications, and smaller-sized machinery.
These technologies even provide solutions to increasing pollution, global warming, and conservation. These beyond the farm usage of sensors are making it more beneficial to the farmers as well as the public and thus increasing its use.
Role of AI in transforming Agriculture
AI is a new technology which has improved crop production. It helps to monitor the growing of crops, harvesting process, its processing and also marketing.
Many automated technologies have also been added to it, such as Agricultural Robots and Drones. These technologies have increased in contribution to the Agriculture sector.
AI help the farmers to produce healthy & high quality crops, control pests, monitor soil and its growing conditions, reduces effort, and also help them to organize their data and improve all the agricultural related operations along the food supply chain. It has transformed the way of agriculture to a whole new way and increasing the number of agri-tech businesses and the implementation of AI based solutions
IMPLEMENTATION OF AI IN AGRICULTURE
The application of AI in agriculture has led to a new revolution .Its application has led to the development of tools which help the farmers to protect the crop yield. It also reduces the workforce and workload. Moreover, it improves productivity.
EXAMPLES OF AI TOOLS
Use of weather forecasting- There is a presence of a unified dashboard which helps thefarmers to visualize the data and alerts related to any weather or climatic changes.
Soil and crop health monitoring system- A German based technique startup has developed an application called PLANTIX. It helps in the identification of the condition of the crop.
“Our aim is to enable the farmers to work more productively and profitably, to secure their livelihood and to keep the risks as low as possible.” – SimonaStey( PLANTIXCeo)
Drones in agriculture – Nowadays drone based Aerial solutions are present to help the farmers monitor the crop health. Here, the drone captures the data and then it is checked by the experts.
Robotics in farm land- They have sensors in them which find out the presence of weeds and also calculate the amount of herbicide to be spread . It checks the crop health to provide full satisfaction of the quality.
HOW AI CONTROLS IRRIGATION?
AI can be used in a better way for improved irrigation systems with efficiency. The moisture data is collected and monitored first . It offers to learn how irrigation works on different crops at different soil and environmental changes, etc. It helps to minimize the water usage and manage nutrients and achieve more desirable uniform soil throughout irrigation.
YIELD MAPPING IN AGRICULTURE
Technology today is taking over the agricultural sector. The farmers have real opportunities to improve their standards and get closer to profitable crop production. One way among them is the use of yield mapping. Yield mapping is a technology used to collect the data about the yield ,it also checks the crop features during harvest of a specific location. Moreover, it helps the farmers in yield comparisons and helps them adopt their yield mapping according to the situation.
ADVANTAGES OF AI IN AGRICULTURE
- It helps to analyze the market situation and demand and help the farmers produce those crops which are more profitable.
- Forecasting and pre harvesting analysis helps the farmers minimize their risks of crop failure and reduce errors.
- AI helps in producing more healthy crops that are better adapted to weather changes and conditions. It helps to produce crops which are less prone to diseases.
- Helps in breeding seeds and monitors soil health. The data collected finds the estimate of the missing nutrients and helps us to cover it up.
- AI can even monitor the state of the plants and predict diseases , helping in removing weeds. It also helps to find better solutions to remove pests.
- AI helps with better irrigation channels that enriches the growth of the crop .
- Better adaptation to climatic changes is possible with AI application systems.
- With AI it is possible to automate harvesting and find out the best time for it .
- AI addresses labour shortages . It reduces the labour force and automates the work . Smart spraying ,smart sowing and better irrigation is possible .
PROBLEMS THAT THE FARMERS WILL FACE WITH AI
- AI is a lengthy technology process which is to be understood by the farmers for getting better results.
- AI is also a challenge to software companies . The applications need to be simple and understandable for the farmers to work through them.
- Most farmers lack the knowledge and experience with the emerging technologies.
- Some farmers may have a conservative nature and may not understand the use and benefits of the applications.
- Most of the time the policies are not clear leading to confusion for the farmers as the providers fail to explain the implementation of the AI tools.
FUTURE OF AI IN AGRICULTURE
Technology today has redefined farming in the world. The way AI is coming up with new facilities and advancements , the future of farming seems more bright in terms of quality , quantity and productivity. Agriculture is a mainstay occupation and in the coming years there will be a need of producing almost 50% more of crops for everyone to consume . At such a stage of urgency , it is only AI that is acting as an angle in disguise.
AI in agriculture helps the farmers to improve their living standards and also the crop health. AI today is the most commonly used technique for growing crops. Precision agriculture will likely include increased autonomous farm vehicle use in future, as well as improved wireless data transmission and acquisition of smarter, smaller Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and Unmanned Ground Vehicles ( UGV ). These smaller vehicles will not only monitor crop and soil conditions but will also monitor the status of farm equipment, and help improve machine servicing and maintenance to the farmers. In general, we can say that the industrial manufacturing arena will continue to find its way into agriculture.