Global demand for food is increasing; posing the constant question of how we can produce enough food in a sustainable way. High tech farming is indispensable to the future of agriculture. With advanced technology such as precision farming - also known as smart farming - the global agriculture industry can transform to meet rising demands and challenges.
Agriculture technology makes farming more efficient: cutting costs, increasing yields and contributing to environmental conservation by saving resources. Precision farming is made up of innovative strategies and tools which allow farmers to improve soil quality and increase productivity through a series of targeted key interventions.
In order to implement precision farming, operations within the SIGNATURE portfolio have shifted their approach, using intelligent tools to determine hyper-localised crop requirements and yield estimates. The idea is to be more efficient by delivering highly targeted interventions - instead of irrigating or spraying pesticides on an entire field of crops, these methods allow us to treat very small areas individually and independently in line with specific needs. Quantifying underperforming areas and providing maximum visibility on necessary inputs allows farmers to calculate detailed budgets and know exactly what return to expect on investments.
In addition to tools such as soil moisture probes and satellite-based monitoring systems, SIGNATURE uses drones and satellite imagery– a technology set to revolutionize agriculture on a global scale. Drone/satellite technology for farming purposes is on a rapid incline and the global artificial intelligence market in agriculture expected to undergo a compound annual growth rate of 25.4% in the next five years.
Drones, sometimes referred to as “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” (UAVs), are flown over farmlands by licensed drone pilots, allowing farmers to monitor crops and livestock by using sensory imaging technology and thermal cameras. The data collected allows farmers to gain insights and deliver recommendations, by helping track and herd livestock, plan and map out harvests or identify threats to crop health. By making use of drones on SIGNATURE farms, we can receive data such as crop projections by observing data points within the blocks to identify trees/plants that are stressed. The data allows for pest monitoring to identify areas that are under threat by capturing the movement and migration of pests, thus allowing areas to be targeted before it becomes a general problem. With the detailed yield maps made possible by drone technology we can propose variable seeding and fertilization rates to optimize our yield per hectare. Drone/satellite technology also allows for estimation of carbon sequestration in plant cover and soils, as well as the identification of areas of erosion or deforestation which may be problematic for our climate commitments.
As part of our ongoing commitment to sustainability, SIGNATURE have created tailored solutions to allow us to produce more food with fewer resources - by merging ancient techniques (agroforestry, cover crops, low-till plantings) with the cutting-edge technologies of precision farming to ensure food security on a global-scale.