Agriculture faces many evolving challenges, some from the past and some yet to come. These include the effects of a changing climate, less available arable land for cultivation, large fluctuations in commodity markets, and an ever-growing world population. Additionally, there are growing regulatory and societal demands for agriculture to become more environmentally sustainable.
Global demographics, worldwide demand for sufficient food and higher quality diets will mean continued transformation in agricultural production. Sustainable production will be achieved not only by managing the economics, but also factors such as soil fertility, soil erosion, water use, land use, and crop protection chemicals to minimise environmental impact. Digital farming has emerged as a promising technology in helping achieve these objectives.
The rise of digital farming technologies has opened a wealth of new data for farmers. Remote sensors, satellites and drones can monitor plant health, soil conditions, temperature, nitrogen utilisation and much more – 24/7. Artificial Intelligence-based tools can analyse this overwhelming amount of data at high speeds and funnel it back to farmers in the form of useful insights, helping them make critical, timely, and in-field decisions.
Given its numerous opportunities, there are calls for digital farming to be a key EU strategic priority. Setting the right course now gives the EU the opportunity to shape the process for the benefit of growth, a competitive sector, and a more sustainable way of farming. But to unlock digital farming’s full potential, the EU needs to create a future-oriented regulatory environment and set the right policy incentives.
EURACTIV, with the support of Bayer, organised this event at Hof ten Bosch farm in Huldenberg (just outside Brussels) to experience and learn more about the digital transformation of agriculture.
>> Click here for more information about the event.
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