Four Industry Trends for 2015

Chuck Zimmerman

ZimmCast 460Looking for what some of the trends in agriculture will be in 2015? Well, Bo Warren, director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Agribusiness, has four key ones for you. In this week’s program he talks about them.

Precision agriculture will become more precise
The FAA has been paying close attention to unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) as the technology has matured and new applications have been developed. The result of all that research will be realized in 2015, when the commercial UAS market will blossom. The most likely initial applications will be in agriculture, where UAS have proven benefits and can be applied in the friendliest conditions.

The proliferation of connected devices in agriculture will drive further efficiencies. 2015 will usher in a new age of precision agriculture.

The southern migration of blueberries will be firm as Georgia takes the lead in production
Georgia recently overtook Michigan as the number-one state for blueberry production. Georgia’s lead will be cemented in 2015 thanks to better farming methods, development of seed genetic technologies with research partners such as the University of Georgia, and further R&D focused on seed production that marries with soil in Georgia.

Other technologies – specifically UAV applications focused on the blueberry industry – will help to increase production.

Big data will coincide with agriculture in ways never before seen
In 2015, we will begin to see all available information at the farm level – such as soil quality and water utilization – merge with information about specific crops and seeds to maximize yield and production. This will result in far fewer resources being used.

Gone will be the days of identifying a single type of seed for an entire farm. For example, new technologies will allow a cotton producer with 1,000 acres of land to analyze his entire field and break it down by specific acre. This kind of hyper-specific land analysis will be enabled by big data and will significantly maximize production levels.

Water utilization will become critically more important
60 percent of fresh water in the United States is used for agriculture. In certain parts of the country, water tables have been depleted to alarming levels. In 2015 we will see a proliferation of technologies that maximize the efficiency of the water farmers use and minimize waste.

Water utilization sensors that are currently being developed will be married with smart farms and connected technologies and apps that give farmers a clear picture of their watering needs. Apps will combine external weather information with sensor-driven, farm-specific information to paint a real-time data picture around a farm’s soil moisture, and provide recommendations to reduce water usage while maximizing crop yields.

Listen in to my conversation with Bo to hear his outlook for 2015 for the ag industry: Agribusiness Trends and Predictions

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