Artificial Intelligence and Its Role in Agriculture

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Agriculture plays a critical role in the economic sector of each country. Population around the world is increasing daily, and so is the demand for food. The traditional methods that the farmers use are not sufficient to fulfill the need at the current stage. Hence, new automation methods are introduced to satisfy these requirements and provide excellent job opportunities to several people. Artificial Intelligence has emerged as one of the most critical technologies in every industry, including education, banking, robotics, agriculture, etc. AI in the agriculture sector plays a crucial role in transforming the industry. 

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Here in this article, we discuss the impact and application of Artificial Intelligence on Agriculture and the challenges in adopting AI.

AI saves the agriculture sector from climate change, population growth, employment issues in this field, and food safety. Today’s agriculture system has reached a different level due to AI. AI has improved crop production and real-time monitoring, harvesting, processing, and marketing. Other hi-tech computer-based systems are designed to determine essential parameters such as weed detection, crop quality, and yield detection, amongst others.

Challenges in Agriculture using Traditional Methods

Before understanding the impact of AI and its application in Agriculture, you need to understand the challenges of using traditional methods. 

  • In farming, weather factors such as Rainfall, temperature, and humidity play an important role. Due to pollution, sometimes climate varies abruptly, making it difficult for farmers to make proper decisions for harvesting, sowing seeds, and soli preparation.
  • For a better crop, the soil must be productive and have the required nutrition, such as Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium. If these nutrients are absent in the ground, it may lead to poor-quality crops. But it is difficult to identify this soil quality in traditional ways.
  • In the agriculture lifecycle, we must save our crops from weeds. Otherwise, it may increase the cost of production and absorb the nutrients from the soil. But in traditional methods, identification and prevention of crops from weeds is inefficient.

Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture

As with the traditional methods of agriculture, The farmers face so many challenges with the traditional methods of agriculture. AI in agriculture has shown a great deal of promise. It has become a revolutionary technology for agriculture. It helps farmers yield healthier crops, control pests, monitor soil, and many more ways.

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Below are some vital applications of Artificial Intelligence in agriculture:

1. Weather & price Forecasting: 

It is difficult for farmers to make the right decision for harvesting, sowing seeds, and soli preparation due to climate changes. However, with the help of AI weather forecasting, farmers can receive information on weather analysis. Consequently, they can plan ou for the type of crop to be grown, seeds to be sown, and harvesting the crop. With accurate price forecasting, farmers can get a better idea about the price of produce for the subsequent few weeks, which can help them to get maximum profit.

2. Health Monitoring of Crops:

The quality of a crop widely depends on the type of soil and the nutrition present in the soil. However, due to the increasing rate of deforestation, the soil quality is degrading daily, and it is hard to determine it.

To resolve this issue, AI has developed a new application called Plantix. PEAT developed it to identify the soil deficiencies, including plant pests and diseases. With the help of this application, farmers can get an idea to use better fertilizer to improve the harvest quality.

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In this app, AI’s image recognition technology is used by which farmers can capture the images of plants and get information about the quality.

3. Agriculture Robotics:

Robotics is widely used in different sectors, mainly in manufacturing, to perform complex tasks. Nowadays, various AI companies are developing robots to be employed in agriculture. These AI robots are designed in such a way that they can perform multiple tasks in farming.

AI robots are also trained to check the quality of crops, detect and control weeds, and harvest the crop faster than humans.

4. Intelligent Spraying

AI sensors can detect weeds and weed-affected areas. When such regions are detected, herbicides can be precisely sprayed to reduce the use of herbicides and also saves time and crop. Different AI companies are building robots with AI and computer vision, which can precisely spray the weeds. Using AI sprayers can widely reduce the number of chemicals used in fields, improving the quality of crops and saving money.

5. Disease Diagnosis

With AI predictions, farmers can get knowledge of diseases quickly. With this, they can easily diagnose diseases with proper strategy and on time. It can save the life of plants and the time of the farmer. As a first step, images of plants are pre-processed using computer vision technology.

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This categorization ensures that plant images are appropriately categorized into diseased and non-diseased parts. After detection, the diseased part is cropped and sent to the labs for further diagnosis. This technique also helps detect pests, deficiency of nutrients, and many more.

6. Precision Farming

Precision farming is about the “Right Place, Right Time, and Right products.” The precision farming technique is a much more accurate and controlled way to replace the labor-intensive part of farming to perform repetitive tasks. One example of Precision farming is the identification of stress levels in plants. You can get this using high-resolution images and different sensor data on plants. The sensor data is then fed to a machine learning model as input for stress recognition.

Advantages of Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture

1. AI enables better decision-making.

Predictive analytics is a boon for the agriculture industry. It helps the farmers solve the critical challenges of farming, such as analyzing price forecasting, market demands, and finding optimal times for sowing and harvesting the crop.

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Moreover, AI-powered machines can also determine crop and soil health, provide fertilizer recommendations, monitor the weather, and determine the crop’s quality. All such benefits of AI in agriculture enable the farmers to make better decisions and do efficient farming.

2. AI brings cost savings.

Precision farming using AI-enabled machinery assists farmers grow more crops with fewer resources and costs. AI provides real-time insights to farmers, enabling them to make the proper decision at each farming stage. With this correct decision, there is less wastage of products and chemicals and efficient use of money and time.

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It also allows the farmers to identify the areas that need irrigation, fertilization, and pesticide treatment, saving excessive use of chemicals on the crop. All these things result in reduced use of herbicides, better crop quality, and high profit with fewer resources.

3. AI in agriculture reduces labor shortage.

There has always been an issue of labor shortage in the agriculture industry. AI in agriculture can solve this issue with automation in farming. Farmers can get work done with AI and automation without having more people. Some examples are driverless tractors, smart irrigation and fertilizing systems, intelligent spraying, vertical farming software, and AI-based robots for harvesting. AI-driven machines and equipment are much faster and more accurate than human farmhands.

Challenges of Artificial Intelligence adoption in Agriculture

By seeing the advantages of AI for sustainable farming, implementing this technology may seem like a logical step for every farmer. However, there are still some serious challenges that everyone knows, which are as follows:

1. Lack of familiarity with AI machines

There are many benefits of using AI in agriculture, but people are not familiar with using AI-enabled solutions and equipment across most of the world.

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To solve the issues, AI companies should provide the essential equipment to farmers, and once they get familiar with them, then provide them with advanced machines.

2. Lack of experience with emerging technologies

The adoption of emerging technologies and AI in agriculture for developing countries can be a challenging task. It will be challenging to sell such technologies in areas where there is no such agricultural technology being taken into use. In such places, to use these technologies, farmers need someone’s help.

3. Privacy and security issues

There are still no clear regulations and policies for using AI so it may raise various legal issues. Further, due to the use of software and the internet, there may also be some privacy and security issues, such as cyberattacks and data leaks. All these issues can create a big problem for farm owners or farmers.

Final Thoughts

The future of AI in agriculture largely depends on adopting AI solutions. Although some research studies on a large scale are in progress and some AI-based applications are already on the market, yet industry in agriculture is underserved. Moreover, creating predictive solutions to solve a real challenge farmers face in farming is still in progress at an early stage.

You can read similar articles on sustainable farming, Dubai weather, rainwater harvesting, temperature sensor, and more.

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