Experience and intuition run deep with farmers, and wisdom is passed across generations. But with the world’s fertile lands shrinking because of climate change, and food supply in greater demand because of rapid population growth, many growers are motivated to try new ways of meeting expected demand.
These macro trends are happening at a time when more farmers are gaining exposure to various forms of artificial intelligence (AI) that enable them to make data-driven crop-management decisions—all in an effort to boost yield, trim resource costs, and improve the sustainability of their land. In particular, AI analyzes data streams gathered by an array of field and crop sensors, drones, and satellites to help farmers better understand crop and soil health and identify threats, such as pests or fungi, before they can be detected even by experienced farmers.
Long promised, these cutting-edge technologies are finally gaining market momentum. The global AI-in-agriculture market size stood at $852.2 million in 2019 and is projected to reach $8.4 billion by 2030, according to Prescient & Strategic Intelligence.
However, spending alone won’t make farmers trust AI or data-driven farming practices. It’s ultimately about producing results—though there’s no lack of ambitious ideas for how AI can transform farming practices, no matter their size or location.