2018 was full of tremendous strides in agriculture, from technology to legislation, and 2019 is looking to be another year of progress and innovation. With new developments in digital tools and online resources, farmers and manufacturers have their hands full with solutions to incorporate into their production process. Agribusiness leaders are now able to collaborate and establish stronger and more streamlined industry standards that benefit producers and consumers alike.
In the next 365 days, we expect that agriculture will remain true to its path of exponential growth with the help of the following trends.
A new generation of farmers
A new crop of business-minded leaders is coming to the surface to claim their place in the supply chain. With them, they bring new ideas, strategies and technology that will reshape the way we’ve always grown and sold food and commodities. While there is a lot to be said about traditional farming practices and instincts that have built the foundation of our economy, the trajectory that young farmers are setting for agriculture is taking the industry to new heights.
Data is the driving force behind a digital supply chain, and technology is the currency of change. Tools and software are supplementing and challenging what farmers already know about their crops, preparing the industry for growth and more precise decision-making. Newly developed equipment provides benefits such as satellite imagery, greenness sensors, soil maps and GPS-driven machinery to improve the micro-elements that impact agricultural products. In 2019, we anticipate growth in robotics, crop assessment technology and data processing software that will improve the way that growers collect and interpret information from their farms, as well as how they can market and sell their products around the world.
Sustainability was a hot topic in agriculture throughout 2018, and will continue to be a priority for many agribusiness leaders in 2019. The growing importance of sustainable farming practices is motivating scientists and tech specialists who are developing new technology and procedures to meet economic needs. As these tools become available and more widely utilized, we can certainly expect to see more initiatives surrounding sustainability in the next year.
Finally, as the world of agriculture becomes more connected, and as agribusinesses begin transitioning into the digital realm, the only way to establish a decentralized setting, where true transformation and adaptation can take place, is to partner with one another. Companies and organizations are collaborating to develop industry-wide standards that all can work within. The Cotton Technology Alliance is a perfect example, where various leaders in the cotton sector are banding together to function according to a unanimously established procedure. Players in multiple industries – growers, technologists and economists – all must work together in order to adapt a foundational industry to a world of change.