Modern agriculture usually describe the wide majority of production methods used by farmers. According to recent studies, more than 90 percent of farmers embrace most innovative practices today, and other growing techniques to produce enough fuel, food, and fiber for a growing universe while minimizing their environmental impact at the same time. The term modern agriculture implies the advancement in terms of invention and innovation, stewardship, responsibility and meeting the environmental and global food challenge all at once.
Here are some of the key and basic advances in technologies, which has provided potentials to connect farmers to resources, information, knowledge and markets.
Increased internet connectivity helps the farmers have access to vital information on how to operate efficiently, access to research, equipment purchases, ensure high crop yields, cost reduction, soil mapping, plant health and effective farm animal management.
Mobile devices and platforms
Mobile applications which are integrated with remote sensors and other crop monitoring tools has increased efficiency while reducing costs of managing a piece of farm. Cash payment via the phones to farmers is economically viable for value chains with high and expected volume transactional activity.
This is a farming concept that heavily utilizes geographical information to analyze and determine field variability and ensure that there exists optimal use of inputs and maximize the output derived from a farm. Large pieces of land usually have spatial variations in soils types like moisture content, pest affected areas and nutrient availability and so on.
If farmers adopt the use of Geospatial analysis, it leads to generation of up to date aerial and satellite images of their farms during different seasons of the year. With this information, the farmer can determine beforehand the productivity of different management zones. At the same time, the trends in growth and yield of different areas within the farm can also be identified.
Other trends in modern farming
It is amazing that crops could be grown while suspended in air. This is exactly what aeroponics farming is all about. Usually, aeroponics does not require a growing medium unlike geoponics method, which as the name suggests, is highly dependent on growing plants in normal soil.
Plants which are grown aeroponically are usually suspended in an instrument supporting the plant. This ensures that there is minimal contact between the apparatus and the plant making it 100% grown in air. The plant’s dangling roots are always sprayed with a nutrient-rich solution. Most herbs grown using this method are successful. Examples are basil, lettuce, tomatoes, ginger, vegetables and many more.
Benefits of using the aeroponics system include:
- Ease of working with different kind of plants
- Cost effective and saves space, and farmers do not have to spend money on irrigation channels
- Aids in disease-free cultivation because plant-to-plant contact is very limited – separating infected ones with healthy plants. If a plant is infected, it can be removed easily from the support structure without disrupting other plants.
- It is a disease-free cultivation
On the other hand, hydroponics method of farming requires no soil for the plants to grow. Instead, it requires water as its growing medium. For this kind of planting to do well, three things are required:
- Light: without light, plants cannot produce the energy it requires to grow through a process called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process by which a plant converts light energy into chemical energy which later can be released to fuel the energy needed by plants. Therefore, light important in the growth of the plant. Hydroponics system setup always comes with its own grow light or rather a lamp since it may not get direct access to light.
- Water: This is the critical growth medium for any plant. Under this method, this is where farmers apply the required nutrient-solution that the plant will need to grow. Apart from some other micro-nutrients, the critical requirements of the nutrient solution are Phosphorus (P), Nitrogen (N), Potassium (K). Nitrogen (N) – are significant components in amino-acids. Phosphorus encourages root growth, contributing to and crop quality and structural strength. Potassium on the other hand contributes to crop quality, shape, size, and yield.
- Air: All plants need carbon dioxide found in air to convert energy absorbed from sunlight into sugar and water. Since air is also a critical element in the hydroponics system, it is provided by the fan and filter system.
The different types of hydroponics system include:
- Drip system
- Wicks system
- Water Culture
- Ebb and Flow system
- F.T system: this is the most common type of the hydroponics system
Hybrid Seed Technology
The hybrid seed technology is a very captivating and interesting form of farming. It involves the cross-pollination of two different but related breeds, with almost similar features to produce desirable traits of new plants. Crops like grapefruits, seedless watermelons, sweet corn, cantaloupes as well as tangelos are as a result of hybridization. You can click here to learn more about the hybridization process.
We are living in a fast and amazing times where there are applications for anything and a myriad of options to choose from. Therefore, the thought of getting your hands dirty should never keep you away from Agriculture. Find these modern farming methods which are amazingly refreshing.