Across Regions, Cultivation/Production, Equipment/Technology, Smart Farming, Trends

AgTech Trends in 2019: Synthetic biology, Precision agriculture, and Millennial farmers

Last year G2 Crowd introduced predictions for 2018’s major digital trends, but this year the focus is on trends in specific industries and how digital transformation will affect them in 2019. 

Jasmine Lee, a Senior Research Specialist at G2 Crowd, writes that with a heavy dose of innovation and disruption, agriculture technology, or agtech, has transformed the operational processes and expectations of the agriculture industry. Like any other industry that’s transformed by tech, the agriculture space must keep up with changing work styles, updates in equipment and mobile devices, and customers who demand speedy results.

It’s now time for the agriculture industry to have its turn with technology, Lee says. Innovation has already come about within the ag industry (just look at the evolution of crop modification), but there’s a special type of change that comes with leveraging cutting-edge technology in one of the oldest industries in the world.

Lee says two trends appeared during G2 Crowd’s research of the trends in agtech:

  1. Millennials are the harbingers of change in an age-old industry.
  2. Precision ag will especially impact small farms.

Prediction: Millennials will drive 75% of the technological change in the farming industry.
Using smartphones, aggregating and analyzing data, and coming up with effective shortcuts to make tasks more efficient—these are ingrained millennial instincts. This generation won’t think twice about leveraging existing or innovating new technology to modernize farming. Additionally, for better or for worse, millennials are used to constant change and they prickle against stagnancy.

Prediction: 15% of small farms will leverage precision ag technology in the next year.
According to Hexa Reports, precision agriculture, or precision ag, will reach $43.4 billion by 2024. (Business Wire reports that the CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of that prediction is 14 percent.) GPS, sensors, UAV drones, and semi/autonomous vehicles are just some examples of precision ag technology software that help farmers and farms become more controlled and, well, precise when it comes to crop and livestock management.  There’s a ton of technology in existence that small farmers and farmers can latch on to, to optimize farm operations and output.
Crop sensors, for one, are a significant piece of technology that can connect robots, regardless of initial design, to precision ag.

We are, fortunately, in the midst of Agriculture 4.0, the ag industry’s version of Industry 4.0, says Lee in her article. According to Oliver Wyman, a financial management consulting firm, Agriculture 4.0 harkens “a concerted effort by governments, investors, and innovative agricultural technologies” to revolutionize existing ag operations and processes.

Read the full article on the G2 Crowd website

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