Last�week saw�two separate schemes emerge with the intention of making it easier to manage large areas of land and ensure that agricultural equipment can be used as precisely as possible, optimising productivity.
The first project is being conducted by the European Space Agency, which launched the new Copernicus Sentinel-B2 satellite into orbit with the promise of enhanced data-gathering capabilities which are especially useful for farmers.
Helping Countries and Individuals Alike
Farming UK reports that the satellite is primarily focused on imaging, using high-res sensors to capture vast areas of the planet in impressive detail not previously seen. This will mean that agricultural organisations will be able to access crystal-clear views of their land, tracking changes as time passes and using this information to make decisions and cut costs as a result.
This is set to have an impact on farming across the continent, not only benefiting individual farmers but also helping countries to come up with appropriate policies and regulations relating to agriculture.
As well as being used to assist in arable farming, the satellite will be harnessed by everything from fish farms to construction businesses, as its detailed image-capturing capabilities clearly have a range of applications. So machinery of all types will be deployed based on the information gathered from high above the Earth's atmosphere.
A lower level form of land analysis and monitoring is also being pursued by US manufacturing giant John Deere, which unveiled its partnership with drone-maker Kespry earlier in the week, according to Tech Crunch.
The Future of Farming Technology
Drones are cropping up as a hot topic in many discussions over the future of farming technology. And with John Deere's heavy-duty machines combined with tiny data-gathering drones, it is easy to see how the two technologies will evolve and merge in the coming years.
Drones are chiefly useful when it comes to capturing images and scanning areas of land, meaning they can not only be used to check up on things like crop densities but can also pick up on any unseen issues that would normally be invisible to farmers, enabling them to be tackled sooner rather than later.
These unmanned airborne craft are also capable of detailing the topographical features of a given area, tracking a range of metrics.
Integrated sensors mean that the drones not only know exactly where they are at any given time but are also capable of avoiding obstacles, both static and moving. So they do not pose a hazard when used in conjunction with heavy machinery or sites shared with humans.
The rollout of the drones in combination with John Deere's tractors and other equipment will initially be carried out in the US, although it may spread further afield if they prove to be successful.
Such projects show that there are always innovations on the horizon in the agricultural sector, even if for the moment most people looking to buy used farm machinery would be happy with a fairly standard piece of equipment as long as it is affordable and reliable.