Automation in Agriculture

INTRODUCTION

Agricultural automation is the core technology for computer-aided agricultural production management and implementation. Through the integration of instrumentation infrotronics and precious farming technologies, we create a viable solution to the challenges facing humanity’s current and future needs for food, fiber, feed

and fuel. Fundamental and practices provide a comprehensive introduction to automation techniques in agriculture.



ROLE OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY IN AGRICULTURE:

In India, from agriculture sector forms only 18% of India’s total GDP nevertheless employing almost 65% of India’s total workforce. Agriculture in India is heavily reliant on nature, but climate change and global warming make farming unpredictable. Farmers must be educated on how to use modern technology and innovative approaches to increase productivity and profitability. Technology has a major role in farming and agriculture practices, and with arrival of digital technology the scope has broaden. Agricultural innovation is driving an evolution in agricultural practices, reducing losses and increasing efficiency. The use of digital and analytic tools is driving continuous improvement in agricultural and the trend is here to stay, resulting in higher crop yields and increased farm income.


IMPORTANCE OF TECHNOLOGY IN AGRICULTURAL:

Mechanization has resulted in more efficient tilling and harvesting, as well as a reduction in manual labor. Irrigation and transportation systems have improved, and processing machinery has reduced waste, among other things with the result being visible in all areas. Agriculture technology has an impact on many areas of agriculture, including fertilizers, pesticides, seed technology, and so on. Pest resistance and increased crop yields have been achieved through biotechnology and genetic engineering. New-age technology focuses on robots, precision agriculture, artificial intelligence, block-chain technology and more.


TRADITIONAL FARMING METHODS:

1. Agro forest is one of the oldest farming methods that been used since ancient times. It’s basically about planting and maintaining a tree that can protect the crop by developing the microclimate. These combinations of agriculture and forestry have many advantages. This way you can get multiple products such as food, wood and firewood. You can grow essential food crops that you would otherwise not be able to produce. Agro forestry technique is useful in controlling the temperature, exposure of sunlight, rain and wind. By using this method, we can get multiple products like food, timber, firewood etc. Staple food crops which cannot be produced else can be grown. These types of systems are commonly found on the African continent, Europe and other united states. Agriculture and forestry can restore soil fertility by using nitrogen to fix plants such as legumes. This system led to production.

2. Crop rotation: The concept of growing different crops on the same land based on seasons is called as crop rotation. Crop interrelations depend on how they control soil erosion and contribute to the soil to produce hybrid offspring while mating with other crop management systems that have an overall impact on the surrounding environment. it helps in maintain soil productivity, reduce pest, minimize chemical use, maximize yields, reduce reliance on a set of nutrients and grow weeds. Previously, rotation was performed using two field systems and up to four field systems were used.

3. Intercropping/Mixed crops: Intercropping/mixed crop is the method of sowing more than two crops at the same time. Typically, a single harvest does not make the best use of the available resources. As a result, intercropping is employed to increase the yield on a given amount of land. Crop rotation is not the same as intercropping. Different crops are grown in a single season in crop rotation, whereas different types of crops are cultivated in a sequence of growing seasons in intercropping. Intercropping aids in the creation of biodiversity, which aids in pest management. It also helps in fumigating the soil by increasing soil organic matter and restrain weed growth. Hence, intercropping is a local approach that is based on traditional practices which is popular even today.

4. Polyculture : Polyculture is a method of growing large number of plants of various species in the same space. It improves plant biodiversity and aids in the promotion of dietary diversity in local communities that are able to adapt to climate change and extreme weather. Cover cropping, permaculture, and integrated aquaculture are example of polyculture. Polyculture’s key advantage is its capacity to control weeds, pests and illnesses without using pesticides. Polyculture, the sustainable style of agriculture, is the polar opposite of monoculture. It aids in the reduction of soil erosion and the increase of consistent harvests. It improves the soil’s quality. As a result, polyculture, as a traditional practice, is still widely used around the world today.

5. Rainwater harvesting: The method used to collect and store rainwater that can later be used for agriculture purposes is “water harvesting”. It is collected from a roof-like surface or stored in a deep well. During the monsoon season, people collect water from streams or rivers and then use it for fa rmer in times of drought or limited rainfall. In order to improve sustainable agricultural production and food security, new water harvesting methods are being developed. Rainwater harvesting is one of the oldest methods, even for domestic and residential purposes. It helps reduce the demand for water wells and provides mobile water. It is used for livestock, garden watering, and other household purposes. It can also be used in schools and hospitals funded by companies or government organizations. You can save money because there is no high cost method.



DIFFERENT AND LATEST TECHNOLOGIES IN AGRICULTURE:

1] IRRIGATION DRONES:

Irrigation drones are used to reduce the burden of the farmers. There are various drones available but one of it is MG-1 which capable of carrying 10 liters of liquid in single fill and they can cover approx. 6,000 sq. meter in just 10 minutes. Such drones are capable of understanding and adapting to the varied specifics of a farm reminiscent of altitude, varieties of plants being grown and even the weather conditions. Such types of drones are much advance, when connected with monitor it can determine specific sections of the farm’s that need bigger attention.

2] ROBOTS FOR PLANTING: Planting crops across massive sections of farmlands typically takes many hours of laborious labor. This task may also be dead with the assistance of robots and drones that are capable of planting seeds on the bottom and even form the air.


3] ANALYTICAL AND MONITORING:

After participating in the cultivation process and setting up irrigation canals, farmers spend a lot of time manually monitoring and analyzing the health of their crops. This is not an exact science, and in the past, farmers have had to rely on available information to make encouraging decisions. Agriculture automation can turn this imprecise science in an exact science with drones that can be continuously used to monitor farmland. These drones can be programmed to find identify various parts to better inform farmers. This includes the use of various sensors and cameras, such as infrared technology, to be available to identify damaged crops, monitor nutrient levels and even provide field maps, 3D for farmers.


4] HARVEST AUTOMATIC TOOLS: The harvest season is often the most difficult period in a farmer’s life. Much depends on the process, so efficiency and accuracy are key here. Harvesting robots are being developed to help in this critical time. Abundant is a great example of an apple picking robot. The use of vacuum technology is this robot is known to have a huge impact on productivity.


5] ROBOTS OF SEEDING AND WEEDING: Agricultural robots have been specifically designed to assist with the seeding and weeding process. These robots use technologies such as artificial intelligence and computer vision to maximize their efficiency and thus make the most of the available resources. These can even carry out fertilization and their precision has the dramatic effect on the soil and environment in the area.

6] AUTOMATIC TRACTOR: Automatic tractors have made a splash in the agricultural sector. These machines can be controlled remotely, giving farmers more free time to focus on the most pressing needs of their farm. A good example of automated tractor is Bear Flag Robotics, which make driverless tractor. Framers can now remotely plan the route of these vehicles and even receive real-time reports of their lands as the tractor is doing its duty.


TYPES OF AGRICULTURAL FARMING:

1. Pastoral farming involves the care of domesticated animals. The nomadic livestock move from place to place in search of pasture, fodder and water. This type of agriculture is practiced in Sahara Central Asia and some arid and semi-arid regions of India.

2. In shifting cultivation, a small area of forest is cleared by cutting and burning the trees. The cleared land is used for growing crops for a few years until the soil becomes too infertile, and the area is abandoned. Another patch of land is selected and the process is repeated. This type of farming is practiced mainly in areas with abundant rainfall where the forest regenerates quickly. This practice is used in Northeast India, Southeast Asia, and the Amazon Basin.

3. Subsistence farming is practiced to satisfy family or local needs alone, with little left over for transport elsewhere. It is intensively practiced in Monsoon Asia and South-East Asia. An estimated 2.5 billion subsistence farmers worked in 2018, cultivating about 60% of the earth’s arable land.

4. Intensive farming is cultivation to maximize productivity through the use of low cost and high materials (water, fertilizers, pesticides and automation). It is mainly implemented in developed countries.


How automation has benefited agricultural sector?

As the automation in agricultural industry has benefited in various sector, use of modern tools has made work easier for the farmers. Also by using this latest technology it has made work much faster. The problem of labor shortage has decreased. By using robots for seeding, harvesting, watering and monitoring decreases the need for hiring employees for numerous monotonous tasks. Agro-bots allow farmers to save time and money. Also it has decreased wastage of water and other things.

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