Agriculture has been so influenced by technology, that we could say it is no longer an artisanal activity, it is rather a work of precision and quality that gets more and more specialized with time.
For instance, think of those robots and drones that, thanks to the information that they can gather, we can now can control from pests to times of cultivation and harvest, or supervise plantations that, under normal conditions in the open, would be impossible to control.
Find out in this article how technology is more frequently applied on everyday tasks in agriculture.
Precision in Agricultural Production
It's simple, technology is key for the survival of agriculture. The tangible tools that we can now use are drones, sensors and GPS-guided machinery. It is by means of these tools that we intend to face great challenges, such as feeding the growing world population. In fact, speaking of numbers, the World Bank predicts that by 2050, we will need to produce at least 50% more food than we do today. If we want to talk about technology in agriculture, we must not forget that it satisfies many needs and that it plays an important role for the development and progress of the latter.
In a previous blog, I mentioned the need of adapting the existing technologies to all the elements involved in the production of agave, highlighting their importance for the generation of resources, and thus, for overcoming the shortage of materials.
Challenges and Opportunities
"Industry 4.0 is a relatively recent concept that is used to make reference to the so-called 'fourth industrial revolution', based on the incorporation of digital technologies to the industry. In short, it is about using the new information and communication technologies to create a smarter industry "(Smart Rural, s.f.)
The use of geo-positioning and the correct analysis of Big Data, have proven to be great allies for the correct use of resources (workforce, machinery, chemical products, water resources).
As we've mentioned before, an example of the use of technology in agriculture, is the use of drones. There has been much talk about them and yet, little is known about drones, in other words, they are frequently mentioned but we have fallen short when it comes to suggesting the scope they can actually reach, since we increasingly find new applications and uses for them.
Without pretending to be redundant, I will mention why this specific new technology (drones) is an great example of Agriculture 4.0:
- A fixed-wing drone is able to cover up to 400 hectares land surfaces per day
- It allows to count the number and size of plants, bushes, vines or specimens, as we currently do at Casa Sauza
- It gathers images of great clarity, which can be processed for many uses and objectives
- Depending on the type of chamber that it contains, it can measure the water stress and the vigor of the plants
- It can register changes in the color or shape of plants
- It could help to identify illnesses in advance or even risks of frosts
The Need to Automate Agriculture
Last but not least, a very important matter that must be addressed, is climate change, since it has made meteorological patters very unpredictable. Global warming brings droughts, storms, new pests, heavy showers, movement of crops due to the change of seasons, etc. Which is why a transition towards more productive and efficient agricultural production systems becomes a must.
We need to produce more, with fewer resources. To meet these requirements, it is necessary for agriculture to become a little more like manufacturing. The automation of agriculture remains as a main objective of this subject, technology.
If you have further questions, feel free to contact me. If you are interested in this topic, I recommend you stay alert of my future blog posts.
You can always come to Casa Sauza and see it all for yourself. Take one of our guided tours to Tequila and to our tequila factory and learn all about the production of tequila in-site.