3 technology trends shaping the future of farming

The past year has been a whirlwind for digital adoption, with the agriculture industry moving quickly to adapt to advanced technologies. Now, as the dust settles, a clearer picture is emerging around which trends and technologies will shape the industry in the long run.

“With technology increasingly key for agriculture producers to operate more efficiently and sustainably in the post-pandemic future, it’s more important than ever for farmers to keep abreast of emerging trends and innovations,” explains Ryan Riese, national director of agriculture at RBC. “Understanding the opportunities and challenges affecting the industry can ensure they ride the waves of change, instead of being overpowered by them.”

Here are three key trends it’s a smart idea for agriculture producers to pay attention to:

1. The switch to digital data management.

Supply chain uncertainties and social distancing regulations have spurred producers to replace pen and paper with digital data management platforms. These new tech tools have been particularly helpful for keeping a close eye on crop planning, inventory, committed contracts and task management.

2. Accelerated automation.

Given the impact of the pandemic on borders, worker flows and in-person processing capacity, many producers have a strong incentive to invest in automation technologies. In 2022, the agriculture industry will continue to see the evolution and continued adoption of such technologies.

3. Uneven adoption of technology.

Adoption of advanced tech comes with high capital requirements — a burden that can be onerous for smaller farms trying to make that initial investment. In fact, Statistics Canada reports that 95 percent of farms with over a million dollars in annual sales are using advanced technologies, while only 60 percent of farms with less than $100,000 in sales report the same.

As technological adoption continues to accelerate, attention must be paid to avoid creating disparity that impedes equitable development across Canada’s agriculture industry.

Find more information at rbc.com/agriculture-NC