Agriculture is the backbone of societies across the world. But several factors are forcing farmers to change their approach. With the global population expected to peak at 9.7 billion by 2050, experts predict worldwide production must increase by 70% within the next 30 years.
With the looming threat of climate change, it’s clear that the planet’s future of agriculture must change to meet prevailing environmental and social conditions. So, what is the future of agriculture, and what innovations must the industry adopt to fulfill the necessary food production goals?
What is the Current State of Agriculture?
Before discussing the future of agriculture, it’s essential to understand the current state of farming and the challenges the world will have to meet. The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the vulnerabilities facing the industry. Quarantines, disruptions to supply chains, and border closures have limited access to many foods countries rely on. Food insecurity has been an unfortunate side effect of the pandemic.
Climate change continues to be a problem for farmers. Experts point out that too much water is being used to support current farming techniques. Plus, chemicals are also considered to be an ecological threat. All the while, farmers must maximize yields from the lands they hold while ensuring reliable outcomes. It means the future farmers must contend with limited land holdings, the perpetual threat of extreme, unpredictable weather, and a requirement to use less water and fewer chemicals.
Farming for the future means governments, investors, and farmers themselves must come together to change the way food is grown across the world.
What is the Future of Agriculture?
Work is already occurring to guarantee the future of farming. The indoor farming technology market alone is projected to be worth $40.25 billion by the end of 2022. Studies into indoor farming techniques have shown increased yields, more reliable yields, and fewer resources required per square foot.
At Scynce LED, we are firm believers that farming in the future will predominantly occur within an indoor environment. Technology has reached a point where indoor future farming techniques can quickly overthrow traditional soil farming.
Why Indoor Farming is the Future
Indoor farming for the future provides natural advantages that can help the agricultural industry cope with diminishing resources and an increasingly unstable climate. The main benefits of indoor farming are as follows:
- Vertical Farming – Farmers can now grow certain crops in three dimensions, rather than just two.
- Climate Protection – Since indoor environments may be controlled, year-round crop cycles could become a reality.
- Fewer Resources – Without the threat of pests, fewer resources are required, including dangerous pesticides.
Naturally, not all crops are suitable for innovations like vertical agriculture. Future farms may grow tomatoes, carrots, and potatoes indoors, whereas tall crops like wheat may still need outdoor environments. While farming in the future will see numerous innovations, the main change in the future of agriculture will be more urbanized farms and indoor farms.
Future Farming Techniques
The collective future of farming means the world of agriculture will be unrecognizable just one generation from now. Unlike other technological innovations, it’s not a matter of simply becoming more efficient. Farmers will have no choice but to adapt if they’re going to survive. Let’s look at some of the future farming techniques we can expect to see in the coming decades.
As we discussed above, the most significant change we’ll see is more indoor farming. As more and more rural land is converted for industrial agricultural operations, urban environments will increasingly invest in farming. Basements, attics, office buildings, and warehouses may be requisitioned and converted into urban, indoor farms. The simple fact is agricultural land is limited, and governments will need to get creative when it comes to increasing the nation’s agricultural capacity.
Vertical farming is perhaps one of the most significant innovations in the future of farming. Future growing will see farmers utilizing vertical farming as a means to boost crop yields. Vertical farms are incredibly efficient because where traditional farms grow in two dimensions, vertical farms grow in three. It means a single vertical farm may produce 10x more crops than a conventional farm of similar size.
Hydroponic systems and LED lights have now become advanced enough to make vertical farms practical. However, the one downside of vertical farms is how expensive the initial setup costs can be.
Smart farming allows farmers to improve crop yields exponentially by providing plants with precisely what they need and no more. Precision agriculture uses computerized systems to monitor crops for water, fertilization, and harvesting. Both soil and plants can be monitored extremely closely to provide the best possible conditions. Smart farming techniques will ultimately maximize efficiency and improve yields.
Genetically modified crops have gone down badly with consumers who complain about this unorthodox approach to producing crops. Many governments around the world have banned GMO food in response to consumer concerns.
While corporations fight to make GMOs more expensive, other farmers have introduced a technique known as genome editing. The concept behind genome editing is to change a crop or animal’s genome down to just a single genetic letter. Rather than shifting entire genes, genome editing simply imitates the natural process of mutations.
Crop breeding has always relied on mutations and selective breeding to produce high yields while being resistant to climatic changes. In other words, genome editing mimics the natural process in a more tightly controlled manner, thus changing the future of agriculture.
Customized Farming Recommendations
The global future of agriculture is unlikely to be the same across the world because every farm is different. Weather patterns, nutrients in the soil, and various crop strains all take part in how a farmer may decide to approach each crop cycle.
Improved farm management systems are proprietary platforms that are already being implemented worldwide. Through tracking the farm’s behavior, crop strains, and historical weather patterns, farmers will receive tailored recommendations to maximize yields. While farmers have been notoriously resistant to change, this innovation is less about altering farming but about making it easier for farmers to do what they already do.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
What was once considered a product of science fiction has now seen use across multiple areas of society. While general AI is still a long way off, basic AI is already transforming industries across the world.
AI can play a crucial role in the world of farming. The power of AI is in its ability to produce ideal conditions for plants to grow in. Through controlling aspects like temperature and CO2 levels, plants get exactly what they need to reach their potential. For example, at a Square Roots indoor farm, just 340 square feet of farm space produced what a three-acre farm produces annually. When replicated across the world, AI is a gamechanger.
Although some ambitious farmers have already implemented AI on some level, society has barely scratched the surface of what’s possible with this complex technology. In the future, expect AI to play an even more significant role in helping farms to meet ambitious crop yields while maintaining a high level of quality.
How Scynce LED is Revolutionizing Farming Techniques
We believe that the main changes to the future of farming will come in the form of indoor, vertical farms in urban areas. It’s this part of farming that we have focused on with our revolutionary growing systems. How does Scynce LED help farmers to become more efficient while maximizing yields?
More Efficient LED Lights
Indoor farms have always required a light source that can mimic the rays of the sun. Unfortunately, traditional sodium lights consume energy at an astronomical rate while emitting tons of heat energy. Scynce’s LED lights emit a minimal level of heat, which allows plants to crowd closer to the lighting rig itself. Plus, LED technology has improved leaps and bounds. Compared to ten years ago, modern LED lights are now 50% more energy efficient than their older counterparts.
Vertical Growing Systems
As well as full-spectrum LED lights, Scynce LED has everything farmers need to create vertical growing systems in any indoor environment. Every farm is different, which is why we offer multi-level setups to help you grow in three dimensions.
Different lighting spectrums are key to giving plants what they need. Increased production has been associated with the type of light plants are exposed to during each growth stage. Scynce LED lighting enables growers to retain complete control over their lighting spectrums. Depending on the species of crop grown, this can allow for a better quality harvest and more abundant yields.
Additionally, Scynce LED is changing lighting by making it smarter. With products like the Theia lighting control system, growers gain more precision monitoring over their farms. Theia allows remote control of aspects like:
- Light intensity
- Lighting spectrums
- Personalized recipes
A single app can control up to 10,000 lights remotely at the same time. Scynce LED offers a new level of control to confront the challenges of future growing.
Final Verdict on The World’s Future of Agriculture
Farming for the future will look nothing like it does today. The reality is that the world’s needs have changed; therefore, agriculture must change too. From genome editing to more indoor farming, this is an exciting industry with tremendous growth potential.
To support futuristic farming techniques, Scynce LED is committed to making indoor, vertical farming more efficient, more productive, and, ultimately, offering a greater control level. Adapt to what farming in the future will look like now and get ahead of the game by contacting Scynce LED to learn more about LED greenhouse lighting.