Is Artificial Intelligence Transforming Agriculture for Better or Worse?

General B2B
An image of a drone flying over a crop field, with a photoshopped blue digital scanner that is analyzing the ground. This is thought to be the future of artificial intelligence and farming.

Traditionally speaking, artificial intelligence and agriculture appear to be worlds apart. At an extremely high level, operating technology consists of adjusting a few settings and primarily brainpower. However, farming requires hard labour and praying the weather is kind to you. These analyses’ are far from accurate, but they do consist of presumptions people may have regarding either industry. In actuality, both the technology and agriculture industries demand extensive labour and problem-solving skills. Now, in 2021, these two worlds are colliding and farmers are utilizing the perks of artificial intelligence to their advantage.

Even though only roughly 7% of Canada’s land is suitable for farming, Canada is still a top global exporter of agricultural goods. Of course, we also produce maple syrup, cannabis and meat that don’t require ample soil. This means that a great deal of the booming demand for agricultural goods rests in the hands of our farmers, right here in Canada. Due to the intense pressure to satisfy this demand while attempting to do so sustainably, farmers are looking for assistance from new technology.

In an era where technology rules everything, it was only a matter of time until it infiltrated the agriculture industry – and it has not disappointed. The application of artificial intelligence in farming has provided farmers with extremely powerful tools to get the most out of their harvest. Despite all the good new technology brings, fears regarding it are not in vain. AI will indeed eliminate the need for approximately 75 million jobs. However in the same breath, it will also create the need for over 130 million new jobs.

A point of view shot of a person viewing an artificial intelligence app, reviewing the data from their crop.

Changes Artificial Intelligence has Brought

With the help of artificial intelligence, farmers can improve the quality and quantity of their entire harvest. AI provides farmers with the ability to make the most educated predictions and nip imperfections in the bud. It also helps to eliminate pests, disease and poor nutrition.

How is this possible? It’s thanks to the advancement in technology of drones, robotics and soil sensors. Allowing farmers to monitor and precisely spray weeds and pests. This reduces unnecessary chemical use by up to 80%. This predictive technology is proven to be extremely useful for saving money on pesticides, fertilizers and various chemicals. With drones, farmers can even program a route for them to follow. Once the route has been completed, data can be entered into a database through a USB. They can now monitor their crops 24/7 and observe the health of their crops down to the minute. Allowing them to make the most educated decisions based on the data.

This advancement in the agriculture industry ultimately provides the end-user with a higher quality product. It also provides smaller-scale farmers with access to invaluable tools and resources. An amazing feature of AI is its predictive abilities. Farmers can begin sowing the seed at precisely the best time, yielding the maximum profit out of their harvest. It can also estimate the prices the end-user can expect to pay and what the farmer will receive. This benefits everyone in a multitude of ways. AI gives the farming sector the ability to produce rapidly and cater to growing demands in the upcoming years.

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