Thursday, December 08, 2016

Big data in ag continues to expand

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), autonomous tractors and other technologies will continue to emerge as producers meet world food needs in the near and distant future, according to experts They believe technology will continue to emerge and make possible giant leaps throughout the next decade as agriculture industries and producers work to meet world food needs projected in 2050. Presentations at the 2016 Texas Plant Protection Assn. addressed the theme of this year’s conference: Advanced Technologies for Texas Agriculture. From smartphone apps to UAVs, speakers said there will be big changes in how food and fiber is produced. Bob Avant, program director for Texas A&M AgriLife Research corporate relations, provided an overview of farming in the next 10 years and said the “10,000 lb. gorilla” agriculture faces is feeding 9 billion people by 2050. “It’s going to affect agriculture greatly in terms of food supply,” he said. “We are going to have to increase protein production plus protect how much we waste in terms of spoilage and portions on the table.” He said farmers will continue to rely on data to make decisions in the future but noted that larger farms will be more efficient “because the equipment is getting more expensive. We will likely see more sharing or partnering on equipment use and systems.”...more

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