The benefits of sustainable agriculture and how we get there
There is a concentrated effort to modernize the agriculture industry, and data-driven weather intelligence is the key to sustainability. Managing the decision-making processes of farming has always been complex because there are so many different limiting factors that aren’t within a farmer’s control. The weather itself being chief among them.
Big data is out there, and we are leveraging it to help modern agriculture evolve so that it relies less on manual input and more on data-driven analysis. We understand that it’s impractical to rely on intuition and traditional technology while the global population continues to expand and pressure continues to build in the agriculture industry. As a result, we are developing solutions for agriculture that use automatic data collection, predictive analytics and AI-driven insights as their very foundation for sustainable agriculture.
Sustainable agriculture is a vision that many people in a variety of capacities across the industry have been contributing to. We will explore how we got to this point and why modern agricultural practices are the logical next step for the world to thrive.
Modernizing agriculture: The solution to historical thorns
The amount of arable land is likely going to remain constant and, as the population steadily grows, producing more crops from existing resources is going to become a necessity. By the year 2050, there will be 9 billion people on the planet, compared to 7.7 billion that currently inhabit the earth, and food production must increase by at least 70 percent to feed the growing population.
Without moving away from the traditional strategies that have been foundational pieces of agriculture, the ability of future generations to produce and take advantage of our arable land decreases. In the past, there was a focus on taking full advantage of available land and yielding as many crops as possible. There was no focus on sustainable crop production or land preservation, and from a financial standpoint there was a similar lack of focus on profitability and conserving land and resources. These go hand-in-hand, and the solutions will modernize agriculture.
Three benefits of taking a leap towards sustainable agriculture
There are real advantages to committing to the development of technologically driven agricultural practices and advanced advanced weather data and analytics will help us get there. We aim to help growers and enterprises make better decisions based on weather data so we can continue building towards the goal of sustainable agriculture. Below, we outline 3 of the most notable benefits of sustainable agriculture.
1. Conserving the environment and preventing pollution
By adopting sustainable practices, farmers will reduce their reliance on nonrenewable energy, reduce chemical use and save scarce resources. Keeping the land healthy and replenished can go a long way when considering the rising population and demand for food.
2. Reducing costs and focus on profits
Farming smarter and moving food from farm-to-fork in a more efficient manner will be beneficial for anyone involved with the agriculture industry. IoT data from sensors installed in everything from seed drills, sprayers, and spreaders to drones, satellite imagery, and soil make it so surprises become rarities.
3. Improving food production without being wasteful
As we have explained, the anticipated population increase is cause for concern. Today, there is an opportunity to develop agricultural practices from a pure production standpoint, and sustainable agriculture is the route with the most opportunity.
The Weather Company is focused on maximizing food production while minimizing environmental impact and limiting the necessary operating costs. Modernizing agricultural practices is no short-term endeavor, but through the experience of veteran industry leaders, decades of IBM research, artificial intelligence, analytics, and predictive insights with unique, Internet of Things (IoT) data we hope to lead the evolution of modern agriculture.