Smart Farming

Professor Kevin Haines
February 2022

I grew up in and around farms and farmers. I always thought farmers were pretty smart. Farming lore took years to acquire but it allowed farmers to know when to plant or harvest, how to care for cattle to maximise the yield etc. Smart farming, however, does not, it seems, imply that farmers are not ‘smart’ (in fact, quite the opposite). Smart farming involves increasingly smart farmers using highly sophisticated smart technology to increase farming yields.

It has been fairly widely reported that, as a global population, we need to grow as much food in the next 30 years as we have grown in the entire history of human agrarian settlement. This is a fairly staggering statement.

There are a number of ‘solutions’ in process to meet this projected need: opening up new lands to agricultural production (a sometimes controversial activity), reclaiming industrial sites or cityscapes for agriculture (often small scale), vertical farming (a topic for a future Briefing Note) and smart farming.

According to Sciforce ( ". 

Proponents of smart farming, such as innovative companies like SMARTKASTM ( argue that it provides: Increased Production, Water Conservation, Real-Time Data and Production Insight, Lowered Operation Costs, Increased Quality of Production, Accurate Farm and Field Evaluation, Improved Livestock Farming, Reduced Environmental Footprint, Remote Monitoring and Enhanced Equipment Monitoring.

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