Software Architect / Microsoft MVP (AI) and Pluralsight Author

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The Benefits of Using AI in the Agriculutral Industry

While there has been some huge advancements in the technology used by the agricultural sector in recent years, it still lags behind many other industries when it comes to the use of information technology.Technology helps farmers and landowners to analyze real time data such as the weather, moisture levels, temperature, current prices and order the equipment and resources that they need to run a successful farm, red diesel drums, for example, and parts for vehicles. However, this added data adds a layer of complexity – the receivers of this data need to be able to work with it and use it, not just hold it in their hands. This is where artificial intelligence comes in. 

Here, we look at some of the ways that implementing the latest in (A.I) could help to benefit the industry and drive forward growth, development and increased output. 

It maximizes the use of other technology

While information technology is starting to have an impact on the world of agriculture and more data comes from systems, artificial intelligence adds value by applying machine learning capabilities to data from drones and sensors, converting management systems into real computational models. Cognitive informational technologies allow a wide range of comparisons of structured and unstructured data from various sources, such as historic weather data, posts on social media and forums research notes, soil data, market information, images and so on, to derive insights and provide agricultural entities with more information and recommendations to take action and improve output.

It improves forecasting and planning

Forecasting and planning is vital in agriculture. One of the biggest challenges a farmer or landowner will face is the need to forecast demand way ahead of time. They need to know which crops to plant and when to ensure they have enough time for them to grow and be harvested, without an overproduction or undersupply, both of which can be damaging to the business.

 

Before technology and A.I, this was down to manual spreadsheets and often nothing more than intuition and experience. The market has changed dramatically since then and supply changes have shifted. Now, big data is vital in order to give more accurate forecasts and predict future trends and anomalies in purchasing behavior. While no one can suddenly make crops appear out of nowhere, artificial intelligence based technology can give an early heads up and allow farmers to make changes and adaptations as quickly as possible.

It can ensure food safety and hygiene compliance

Proper storage of foodstuffs can be difficult, as the rules, requirements and regulations vary significantly. Being able to sort everything to the appropriate storage location is time-consuming, as well as expensive, and is often performed manually. 

Food producers are largely using A.I to sort products in the right storage areas and to reduce the amount of human input needed. Not only can machinery sort faster than humans, but in combination with the power of AI, many of them can sort more precisely than their human counterparts.

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