What is Digital Agriculture /AgTech

Brooke Sauer, author of Rural Edges’ Farm Tech Planning – making your data work handbook, provides the following description of what AgTech actually is. “AgTech represents the application of technology – especially software and hardware technology – to the field of farming. It can be considered as a set of tools that enable agribusiness to innovate, with an overall goal to improve yield, efficiency, and profitability. It encompasses diverse solutions to almost every step in the food production process.”

In practice, the uptake of AgTech can be as simple as installing a digital weather station, or water monitoring sensors, right through to the vision that some developers have of fully autonomous robotics, with aerial and ground drones performing current tasks with or without human intervention.

The key is to invest in devices and solutions that enable end-users and their advisers to make more informed decisions.

Precision Agriculture

Precision Agriculture, or PA, is a term often heard in conjunction with AgTech or Digital Agriculture.

PA describes production activities that are performed in an informed and targeted way and almost always enabled by technology. An example of PA in practice is targeted herbicide spraying, rather than whole paddock spraying, supported by computer software and cameras or traffic of tramline farming – the optimisation of heavy vehicle movements to reduce fuel usage, ensure field activities are optimised (i.e. seeding, spraying) and soil compaction is reduced. Repetitive soil profile mapping and the use of satellite images to support soil management in an accurate and targeted way.

Content Sources and Further Information

What is digital agriculture?