It is no secret that societies are heavily dependent on the agricultural industry, providing jobs in rural areas as well as the food that we purchase from the supermarket. Yet with an ever-increasing population and climate issues becoming more apparent, the agricultural industry is also under strain to meet future demands. It has been surmised that by 2050, the industry will need to produce 70% more food to accord with consumption and population growth. Another alarming statistic if that around 800 million people worldwide suffer from hunger, with 650 million being classed as ‘undernourished’ by 2030.
To meet these demands as well as reduce the amount of water, fertilisers and pesticides used in farming, future technologies are being developed to help propel the agricultural industry forward. Below, we take a closer look at a few of these.
Perfect for urban cityscapes, vertical farming is radically changing people’s perception of traditional farming methods. As the name suggests, vertical farming produces food and medicine in vertically stacked layers using controlled-environment agriculture technology. Not only does this revolutionise the way that produce can be grown, but it can also help with agriculture’s effect on anthropogenic mass extinctions.
Precision agriculture, also known as satellite farming, is a farming management concept where maps are created that can help farmers observe, measure and respond to crop growth. This can help farmers track crop science, ensuring greater environmental protection and also boosting their economics. The maps can be created through a range of digital farming technologies including agricultural robots, drones and satellite imagery, The Internet of Things, an electronic data collection system that uses sensors, and smartphones.
Sea farming, also known as aquaculture, is the farming of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic plants and algae. This is where freshwater and saltwater populations are cultivated under controlled conditions. Designed to be a more sustainable alternative to commercial fishing, sea farms can help improve the natural ecosystems and, in countries like China, Israel and the United States, these farms also use geothermal energy.
Nanotechnology is an interdisciplinary field that has impacted a variety of applied sciences and its next step is the agricultural industry. Nanotechnology will revolutionise the development of genetically modified crops, animal production, material science, chemical pesticides and precision farming techniques. It is believed that nanotechnology can help control and detect plant diseases so fewer plants go to waste and more food is produced.
Here at HP Hydraulics, we pride ourselves on being leaders in our industry, creating efficient hydraulic repairs to various businesses in the agricultural industry. To find out more about our services, contact us today.