To begin with, Variable rate technology (VRT) is any tool or system that allows a farmer to vary the rate of crop inputs. It is the cornerstone of precision farming and combined with other technological advances is driving farming forward at a rapid rate of speed and growth.
A commissioned report on the VRT sector as a whole has forecast exciting things. Specifically, it anticipates year on year growth at an estimated rate of almost 10% and will reach a market value of around 2.24 billion dollars by 2022.
This will have tremendous results in farms utilising the technology but as the sector continues to grow it will show huge gaps in efficiency between farmers using precision farming and those using traditional methods of farming. In short now is the time to really start down the road of precision farming, because in as little as 4 short years you could have already counted yourself out of the game.
With increasing global food demands the pressure is on the agriculture industry to develop new and economically viable ways to meet the demand. Traditional farming methods will fall far short of meeting the demand of a growing global population. This has led to government investment the world over in making agriculture work smarter. Trade barriers are being removed and investment is being poured into infrastructure. All this is great news for farmers as now they are beginning to see that it is a better time than ever to make a very good income from farming. It is precision farmers that are reaping heavily these rewards.
Since 2016 the growth has been staggering in certain areas of the VRT market. Farms growing cereals and grain crops have seen vast yield improvements that have led to other farmers with other crop types wising up to VRT. This by no means indicates that other crops aren’t benefitting from VRT, just that cereals and grains have shown the most growth. This in part could be due to the fact that the crops growing conditions are versatile and any precision implementation is likely to have a greater effect.
GPS systems and data monitoring is another area that is showing exponential growth. This technology first had practicality in the automotive and aviation industries but now agriculture is benefitting from it in ways that other industries can’t. Farmers are mapping the most intricate details of their land, learning more about their farms and increasing yields significantly as a result.
VRT has many practical applications across the entire agriculture industry and has this begun to show financially both for farmers using it and tech companies selling it that it shouldn’t be ignored. What is more, with the increased demands of the current global community it won’t be long before VRT pays off by the truck load.