Why AgTech is not your typical tech disruption

Five years ago, almost no one knew what AgTech was. Inside the industry, we didn’t even know what to call what we were doing. But fast forward to today, and agricultural technology such as vertical farming, revolutionary sensors and data science, is the new hot thing in the industry. In 2020, total investment in AgTech was over $5 billion – a new record for the sector. In 2017 it stood at $1.5 Billion.But unlike many of today’s tech disruptions, this one is less about consumer convenience or entertainment but about something far more pressing: our collective survival. Market potential is nearly limitless precisely because our appetites are too. We all need to eat, and our population is rapidly growing.With a predicted global population of 9.8 billion by 2050, we’re going to need to figure out how to feed a much larger population, and fast. Studies show this could mean we need to grow as much as double the amount of food we produce today, simply to avoid food security issues and mass social disruption.This is where agricultural technology has a critical role to play. We’re not talking about developing new, synthetic chemicals to apply to fields, or supporting ever increasing corporate farms. At its core, AgTech is about using advanced monitoring, control, and data analysis to do more with less – to find ways to increase yields without burdening already overtaxed resources such as land and water.
Right now, YB AgTech Ecosystem is developing a cross-section of technologies and disciplines – precision plant nutrition hardware, sensors, algorithms, big data precision software and smart fertigation management – those will be used by farmers to boost global food supplies. For example, I-Feeder Technologies’ dosing pumps inject plant nutrients precisely and evenly across the field, which in turn increases plant yield. Plant Metrics is communicating with crops to understand what nutrient it requires in real time, smart devices in fields that send simple color-coded alerts to smartphones with recommendations and warnings. Meanwhile, the Smart Fertilizer Software provides a solution for customized adaptive and interactive fertilization plans for over 215 crops in specific regional and field conditions, under any application method. Designed to produce optimal yields, reduce risk and cost. The software is open to dynamic changes and delivers actionable insights driving high ROI and cost & profit optimization.
Tech will make farming viable again, apart from the pressing need to keep us fed, AgTech addresses another crucial pain point: keeping farming viable for the next generation of people who grow our food.Case in pointIn the United States, conventional farming is largely viable today because it’s propped up with massive government subsidies. The US currently pays around $25 billion to farmers annually. But even with a cash infusion, it’s still a tough go for today’s farmers. The world’s most important career has notoriously tight margins and is often a losing proposition. (Grapes, for example, bring in as little as $6 of profit per acre, and they are considered a higher-profit crop.) It’s little wonder that young people aren’t stepping into the industry anymore.Where do we start? Where can we provide immediate benefits? A good starting point from our prospective is to start practicing chemigation and fertigationThese bring many opportunities to the operation. From applying pre-emergent chemicals for weed germination prevention to spoon-feeding fertilizer throughout the growing season, the potential for savings and in-field benefits are vast. Chemigation provides solutions to many of the problems frequently encountered in corn and potato fields.The growing season always comes with its pest infestations, which can have detrimental effects on total yields. As soon as you notice pests, the time bomb starts ticking. What do you do? What is your knee-jerk reaction? Is it to call your commercial applicator?Instead of outsourcing the chemical application, keeping that control within the farm saves time and money. This timely chemical application will minimize population outbreaks when days or even hours can be critical. When combating Mother Nature, implementing chemigation in your operation is one of the most effective ways to respond to those threats.Lastly, whether you are an authorized dealer or not yet, call our office number directly available at the bottom of this page with any and all questions regarding equipment or fertigation support.

If you are an irrigation equipment dealer, center pivot dealer, fertilizer manufacturer, producer or distributor, or an ag retail store with a dedicated team who provide service with follow-through philosophy, do reach out to us and become part of our authorized dealer family, locally and globally.

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