For over 40 years, SmartAG Systems have worked closely with manufacturers, engineers, and farmers to develop and deliver industry-leading technology to help farmers create real-time efficiencies in the field.
Through our broad industry connections and event associations in Australia, New Zealand, South America, China, the UK, and Europe, we continue to stay abreast of the latest AgriTech innovations and changes across the agriculture sector.
With 2023 off to a flying start, here are our top 4 farming trends and innovations we are excited about in the year ahead.
1. Growth in autonomous farming
The autonomous farming industry has grown tremendously in recent years to meet the increasing demand for smart-farming efficiencies, digitalisation, and sustainability. With such high demand, it’s not surprising that startups with new autonomous technology are appearing everywhere; from irrigation, seeding, harvesting, and navigation, to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) based disease detection and crop planning.
In fact, as reported by Bloomberg (2022), StartUs Insights’ research has found that the autonomous farming industry has grown from several dozen companies to at least 180. Furthermore, Bloomberg notes that the market for autonomous farm equipment is expected to more than double in size by 2028, reaching an estimated $155 billion (Brandessence Market Research, 2022).
In addition to smaller startup businesses, it’s also exciting to see large corporations, such as John Deere, traversing the autonomous farming path. We are particularly eager to hear more updates on John Deere’s fully autonomous tractor that was revealed during last year’s CES 2022 conference.
Taking innovation one step further, the UK-based Hands Free Farm have developed an ‘autonomous brain’ – hardware designed to integrate with both older and new technologies to help transition existing tractors and machinery to autonomous farming. Our UK-based sister company, Farmscan AG are proud to be official partners and collaborators of the Hands Free Farm collective.
2. ISOBUS Drilling
After a very successful Plugfest 2022 event in Bologna (read our key takeaways here), it is evident that ISOBUS is steadily becoming more common across a diverse range of tractors and implements.
This year will see us supporting seed drills with both solid seed and liquid fertilizer, simultaneously. These systems can also include an applicator, such as those from StocksAG, collectively running through the same ISOBUS system, giving it more functionality than ever before. Our ISOBUS Solution can currently support up to 6 to 8 channels, allowing farmers and companies to get more value out of a single system and maximise their ideal farming windows.
3. Tractor Implement Management ISOBUS
It’s very promising to see more manufacturers taking up the use cases that support Tractor Implement Management (TIM).
TIM gives the implement control over more features of the tractor, allowing for a more seamless, integrated product. This ultimately reduces user error and improves the simplicity of the products. By allowing existing manual commands to be replaced by automatic commands, the repetitive tasks that farmers were operating from the cab can now be controlled directly by the implement.
4. Budget section control with 7000 PLUS and ISOBUS
Due to several influential factors, including the global energy crisis, input costs for 2023 continue to rise. Because of this, many farmers and manufacturers are looking for solutions to reduce these costs and keep new overheads to a minimum!
In January, we released a new software update for our 7000 Series of Monitors and Controllers, which now supports full automatic section control. These controllers can easily be removed and replaced with an ISOBUS system if upgrades are required at a later time. The 7000 and 7000 PLUS screens will now both support section control, giving a 5” or 7” touchscreen automatic boom-switching functionality in the existing model range. A full 10-section manual switchbox makes section control easy, cost-effective and retrofittable.
These are just a handful of the innovations we are excited about! Get in touch with our team today to discuss how we can help integrate these solutions to enhance your farming equipment.