Data collected, transmitted, and processed in real time can improve farming productivity and sustainability, but limited connectivity and access to digital technology are barriers still needing to be addressed
The use of information technology (IT) is changing the face of farming. From relying on tradition, experience, or intuition in decision-making, farmers are now leveraging precise information in real time for decision support. In recent years, ground sensors, drones, satellite tracking systems, and other devices have been introduced in farming to collect data on variables affecting yields, such as soil properties, weather changes, and pest attacks. Farm tractors and machinery are now equipped with systems by which they can be remotely monitored and operated, improving farm management. Software systems are being used to manage data. Now, these systems are being linked together in the next revolution in agribusiness.
“Brazil has taken a leading role in deploying information technology in agriculture,” says Silvia Massruhá, head of the Agricultural Information Technology chapter at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), an institution that is pioneering the development of digital solutions. She notes that IT systems have seen growing use in farming, especially in the production of commodities such as soybeans, maize, cotton, sugarcane, citric fruits, coffee, and beef. Now the country is preparing to go to the next level with agriculture 4.0.
Continue reading at Sao Paulo Research Institute (FAPESP)