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AI In Agriculture: Toward A Sustainable Farming Future

by Doreen Ware
Published: Last Updated on

Farming is an essential part of every person’s daily life. It is no wonder, then, that it is an industry that will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. In fact, farming is such an important industry that it is also one that will be greatly affected by artificial intelligence (AI). Since AI in agriculture can perform tasks that are normally difficult or time-consuming, it has the potential to revolutionize the way that farmers work.

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According to a report by American Farm Bureau Federation, the number of people employed in the U.S. agriculture industry will drop by half by the year 2028. Even though this is a sad prediction, it is not too far-fetched. As robots come to farms, they will take over some tasks that are easy to automate and difficult for humans to do. Hence, AI will play a big role in that process. As, from crop scouting to crop rotation, AI has the potential to make the farming industry more productive and efficient. Here is a look at how AI is already changing the agriculture industry and what it could eventually become.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a computer program that can perform any task given to it. It can learn from experience and improve its performance over time. Essentially, AI refers to a machine that acts like a human. Therefore, there is a strong likelihood that AI-based systems can solve many of the world’s problems. The use of AI in agriculture covers a wide range of applications. In addition, modern AI-based software can help farmers better understand their fields, plant health, weather patterns, and more.

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A recent study by the University of Agricultural Science in Germany found that AI can help farmers unlock new insights into their fields, as well as improve crop yields and efficiency. The study used a data-driven machine learning algorithm to identify patterns in field data that could be used to predict how plants will respond to different factors, such as moisture levels or disease. In addition, the software was able to detect weather conditions in situ (such as wind speeds) so farmers could better forecast how crops would perform under specific circumstances.

How is AI Being Used in Agriculture & Transforming Farming?

There are numerous applications of AI in agriculture that have the potential to positively impact farming practices. For example, agricultural robots can be used to identify and respond to pests and diseases in crops, improve yield, automate certain tasks on farms, and more. In addition, machine learning algorithms can be used for crop mapping so farmers can get better insights into where different areas of the field are yielding the most money.

Agricultural AI also has the ability to provide insights into crop yields so that farmers can adapt their strategies on a more individualized basis. Furthermore, agricultural AI systems can also help reduce waste by automatically detecting plant diseases and correcting them before they damage plants. Therefore, the future of agriculture is likely to be dominated by artificial intelligence (AI) due to its ability to analyze large data sets and make decisions quickly.

How is AI Being Used in Agriculture & Transforming Farming

The agricultural industry has already seen a number of changes thanks to advances in technology; however, there are many other potential areas where AI could have an especially significant impact. For example: In terms of irrigation systems: by using artificial intelligence algorithms to identify plant preferences and optimize watering schedules accordingly, farms can save money while still meeting production goals. And with regards to fertilizers: by understanding how plants use different nutrients throughout their life cycle—including during early growth stages when they’re low in nutrients or at night when they need less water—AI can provide farmers with better advice on which types of fertilizer are best for their crops.


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Recently, Google announced that it was investing $10 billion in agriculture and AI-powered machine learning for crop research. The company also plans on using the technology to improve yield and decrease costs for farmers around the world. Another big player in the agricultural industry is Monsanto, which has been working on a project called CRISPR – which stands for “Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats” – that uses AI and RNA sequencing technology to create specific strains of crops with increased yields.

Here are some examples of how AI has already changed the agriculture industry and what it could ultimately become.

Driver of Change

As with many industries, the agricultural industry is heavily influenced by trends and developments in technology. In the case of AI, the driver of change can be attributed to the increasing power of computers and the vast amounts of data they can process. With the ability to crunch huge amounts of data quickly, AI has the potential to transform farming by making farming more efficient, improving crop yields, and increasing crop quality.

Furthermore, AI has the potential to improve crop yields by automatically discovering and correcting errors in data, making it easier for farmers to predict how crops will perform and adjust their farming strategies accordingly. AI also has the ability to increase crop quality by identifying pests or diseases early, helping farmers avoid them, and improving yield through better irrigation systems. By 2030, AI will revolutionize farming by making it more efficient and improving crop yields. In addition to this, the technology will also help farmers improve their environmental practices in order to reduce CO2 emissions.

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Farm Automation

The number one use of AI in agriculture is in farm automation. With the help of AI, farmers can increase crop production by managing fields more effectively. With the help of artificial intelligence, farmers can automate tasks that used to be done manually. With AI, farmers can set up realistic computer simulations of their operations and run them on powerful computers to identify areas for improvement. With data provided by sensors, such as soil moisture and temperature, as well as weather forecasts, AI can help farmers set up their operations for optimal productivity.

AI Farm Automation

For example, if a farmer has to identify security risks in a field, AI can help by identifying pests or diseases early and initiate a warning to the farmer about potential problems. The machine learning algorithms also allow for more precision when it comes to planting crops. With the increase in digital equipment, farmers now can access a variety of sensors and data that can be used for various agricultural purposes. Farmers can use these sensors to automate many tasks such as fertilization, irrigation, weeding, and more. However, this automation process is often managed using either digital or physical equipment.

One example of farm automation is the use of sensors in combine harvesters. Currently, most harvesters have a human operator who drives a combine along a predetermined route. The operator identifies specific areas that need to be harvested, such as rows of crops or areas with a higher plant health risk. The operator then directs the combine to go there and collect the crop. However, a combined harvester equipped with sensors can identify and interpret field conditions itself. It can then drive along a predetermined route and collect the crop automatically. This will ultimately lead to increased yields, reduced input costs, and reduced labor time spent on planting, harvesting, and post-harvest activities.

Marketing Automation

Marketing is also an area where AI can make significant inroads. With the help of AI, marketers can improve the efficiency of their operations. Furthermore, AI has the ability to help marketers better understand their customers and target them with specific offers. It can also improve customer retention rates, decrease costs, increase sales volumes, or even automate decision-making processes for marketers.

In addition, it can be used to target specific individuals and groups through various means such as social media, email campaigns, website content optimization, and data analysis. As a result of the use of AI in marketing, businesses will be able to save time and money by optimizing their operations with greater accuracy.

AI Agriculture Marketing Automation

The use of artificial intelligence to improve the efficiency of livestock sales is an example of how AI can be used in a positive way. In the past, farmers have used animals to carry out their economic activities by driving them to the market and selling them there. However, this process is time-consuming and expensive. Therefore, by using machine learning algorithms, it will be easier for farmers to predict which animals are likely to sell at a given price and farm them accordingly. This will lead to increased profits for the farmer and lower costs for consumers.

With the help of AI, livestock agents can show prospective buyers photos of animals instead of having to go to the market and look for themselves. This would not only save money on transportation but also make it easier for potential customers to identify healthy, pastured animals with good coloration and a healthy coat.

Plant Breeding Automation

Breeding is yet another area where AI is making an impact. Using data collected by field sensors and other sources, breeders can accelerate the breeding process. This can reduce the time needed to develop new varieties. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence can assist breeders in identifying qualities and features that are important for success in breeding, such as color, flowers, fruits, etc more efficiently than the usual methods.  It can also minimize the number of failed breeding attempts.

Plant Breeding Automation

By analyzing the data collected by AI-based software, breeders can identify problems that might be causing them difficulties in their breeding program. By understanding these issues, they can make more informed decisions about how to improve their plants and animals and increase the success of their breeding efforts. Furthermore, machine learning can also be used by breeders to identify plants that have a high incidence of disease or are likely to fail due to unfavorable growing conditions. This can help them find new ways to prevent and treat diseases in their crops, and make necessary adjustments in breeding plans.

In the past, it was difficult to predict which crops would be stricken with diseases and which ones wouldn’t. However, with machine learning, breeders can now make better decisions about which crops to plant and how much irrigation they need for their crops in order to prevent diseases from spreading. By understanding the patterns that diseases follow in different environments, breeders can prevent them from spreading anywhere near their plants.


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Increased Efficiency & Decision-Making

AI has also had a positive impact on efficiency within the agricultural industry. With the ability to process huge amounts of data quickly, farmers are now able to make better use of the resources available to them. For example, a farmer in North America can now use AI to maximize yields from their land by mapping climate data from nearby weather stations to their field. With this information, the farmer can determine when to plant and when to harvest their crops to make the most of the weather patterns in the area.

Furthermore, as AI continues to grow and develop, it will be able to assist farmers in making more informed decisions. For example, in a recent study, AI was used to help farmers with independent contracting decide which projects they should take on next. By analyzing millions of contract terms, the AI learned of thousands of potential clients with whom the farmers could enter into contracts.

AI and Crop Scouting

Among the first uses of AI in agriculture was helping farmers find better uses for their crops. For example, AI could be used to help identify which parts of a plant are most nutritious and can be used for human or animal consumption. This is valuable information for farmers who might not want to waste any part of their crop. Farmers use crop scouts to collect data on the state of their crops, their yield, and other factors. By using this information, farmers can make better decisions about where to plant their crops and how much to sow.

Crop scouts collect a lot of data, but farmers usually have to sift through all that information to find useful information. However, with AI, the data collected is analyzed and the information is presented in an easy-to-understand format. Later, this information can be used to improve crop growth and yield, as well as identify problems with growing crops. This information could include photos, videos, and other diagrams to make the information more engaging and easier to digest. Ultimately, this information could help increase a farmer’s profits by as much as 10%.

AI-powered Crop Rotations and Precision Agriculture

Another way AI can help farmers is by identifying better uses for their land. For example, an AI-aided crop rotation system could recommend when to plant certain crops on a field based on weather data, soil conditions, and other factors. This could help farmers maximize the use of their land and produce more crops per acre.

There are different types of crop rotations, but one of the most common is the 3-2-1 rotation. This is a system in which corn, beans, and potatoes are planted in that order on the same field. After three years, the field is turned into pasture. After two years of being used for pasture, it is replanted and ready for harvest. There are many variations on this theme, but they all share the concept of alternating uses for the same piece of land.

artificial intelligence powered Crop Rotations and Precision Agriculture

In addition, the use of AI in the agriculture sector can help farmers make better management decisions. Many computer systems now play a role in agriculture by automatically analyzing data to help farmers make decisions about crop production. For example, an algorithm could help farmers decide when to plant a certain crop or if it is worth planting at all. This could reduce the number of acres planted in a crop and help increase yields. The more data an algorithm has to work with, the better it can become at making management decisions. This is important because the more information farmers share with AI, the more helpful it can be.

Furthermore, with today’s technology, farmers can access data on when to plant seeds or fertilize their fields. For example, farmers can download weather data and receive recommendations on when to plant certain crops. When farmers plant based on these recommendations, they can reduce the amount of water used and make use of existing infrastructure such as irrigation systems. This can help save money, resources, and the environment. Some of the most popular crops for planting at the optimal time include corn, cotton, and soybeans.

Last but not least, AI could help farmers make better management decisions. For example, an algorithm could help a farmer decide how much to grow based on market prices and available resources. With the help of an AI system, a farmer could decide how much to plant-based on factors such as market prices, expected profit, and expected time to harvest. This can help farmers maximize their profits and protect their investments.

How AI Will Change Farming in the Near Future

As AI becomes more accessible, researchers are already applying it to solve problems in the agribusiness sector. New applications are being developed daily, and some of them have the potential to become game-changers. For example, AI could be used to find new uses for crops or to help farmers increase their yields. With AI, a sensor could be used to monitor weather conditions and an algorithm could be used to determine when to irrigate a crop. Some farmers in California are already using this method to increase their cotton yields.


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For one, AI can help farmers to identify and avoid pests and diseases better. This could lead to a decreased amount of work needed on farms, which would free up time for other activities such as research or development. Additionally, AI can also be used to improve crop yields by automatically detecting problems with plants before they become too big or dangerous for humans to handle.

How AI Will Change Farming in the Near Future

Moreover, a number of different applications, such as machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), and big data are being used to create more efficient and accurate models for crop management. This will lead to increased yields and less environmental damage; however, there are still several challenges that remain to be overcome. Artificial intelligence still has a long way to go in the agriculture industry. It has the potential to change farming in many ways, from increasing crop yields to reducing the risk of crop failure.

However, it is important to put these potential benefits into perspective. First, it is important to remember that no system is perfect. Even with the help of AI, farmers can still make mistakes that lead to crop failure. It is important to have other backup plans in place just in case the AI-based system is not yet accurate enough for practical use.

Second, it is important to remember that while AI can be a powerful tool, it is not a replacement for human judgment in farming. AI can only provide information; it cannot make decisions on its own. Machine learning can help farmers identify patterns in data that may not have been noticed by human eyes. It is still up to farmers to interpret the data and make the final decision about what to do with it.

Benefits of AI in Farming

One of the biggest benefits of AI in farming is precision agriculture. Precision agriculture uses data to drive decisions about when, where, and how to plant crops. It also uses data to determine which crops to grow and how much of each to yield. This can maximize the efficiency of both the field and the resources used in growing the field.

Another benefit of AI in agriculture is increased crop yields. With the use of data and machine learning, farmers can increase crop yields by using fewer resources. They can do this by using high-yield seeds and using fertilizers and chemicals that have been custom-engineered for their fields.

Machine learning can also help farmers identify fields that have high levels of soil erosion, which can reduce costs and improve yields. The technology will further allow farmers to use data collected from field surveys and other sensors to better understand the risk of soil erosion on their crops. This information can then be used in order to make decisions about where to plant new crops or how much water they need for them, potentially leading to increased yields.

Drawbacks of AI in Agriculture

The main consequence of artificial intelligence in agriculture is that farmer job losses are likely to become increasingly common, as the technology advances and more machines are able to be programmed to do tasks traditionally associated with farmers. Farmers who are currently using manual labor will be replaced by machines in the near future. The replacement of farmworkers with automation is likely to have a major impact on society as a whole, and it is important for people to consider what this means for their own lives and businesses.

Benefits and Drawbacks

Meanwhile, farmers will also need to learn new skills in order to remain productive. This means that they will need to change job functions in order to remain active and effective. Therefore, many people fear that the increase in automation will lead to mass unemployment, but this is not actually true; rather, many jobs that could be automated (such as data entry or manufacturing) are instead being filled by practitioners of other fields who are able to use technology effectively.

Another drawback of AI in agriculture is the potential for crop failure. When AI-based systems are learning to perform a new task, they go through a trial-and-error phase during which they make a lot of mistakes. This phase is called “training.” After a computer has been trained on how to do a task, it can be used in an actual environment and carry out the task successfully.

However, it can take a while for it to be accurate enough for practical use. Yet, there are still some tasks that cannot be done by computers because they require knowledge or skills that only humans acquire. For example, teaching children how to read requires experience and a literacy level above what most machines are able to achieve. In the meantime, it is better to be safe than sorry and prepare for potential crop failure.

Concluding Thoughts

The agricultural industry is one of the most important sectors in the world and it’s predicted that by 2030, AI will have a profound impact on this sector. As AI becomes more advanced, it will be able to improve crop yields, reduce costs for farmers, and even help them adapt to changing weather patterns. AI has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. From simple data crunching to complex decision-making, AI is already making an impact on a daily basis in farmers’ lives. As these tools continue to evolve, farmers will have the opportunity to put AI to work for them in even more ways. By intelligently harnessing data and applying it to real-world problems, AI promises to make farming more efficient, increase crop yields, and enhance the quality of produce. With the potential to change the way that farmers do business, it’s clear that AI has a bright future in farming.


Cite This Page:

CropForLife (May 23, 2022) AI In Agriculture: Toward A Sustainable Farming Future. Retrieved from https://cropforlife.com/ai-in-agriculture-toward-a-sustainable-farming-future/.
"AI In Agriculture: Toward A Sustainable Farming Future." CropForLife - May 23, 2022, https://cropforlife.com/ai-in-agriculture-toward-a-sustainable-farming-future/
CropForLife April 3, 2022 AI In Agriculture: Toward A Sustainable Farming Future., viewed May 23, 2022,<https://cropforlife.com/ai-in-agriculture-toward-a-sustainable-farming-future/>
"AI In Agriculture: Toward A Sustainable Farming Future." CropForLife - Accessed May 23, 2022. https://cropforlife.com/ai-in-agriculture-toward-a-sustainable-farming-future/

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