Harvard Hosts Speaker On Why Digital Agriculture is Farming's Future[Vdieo]


The future of farming is headed for the digital world, which means whoever has the best information and the fastest way to get it wins the best yields. The agricultural revolution will come from the ability to get information about farm fields, weather forecasts, artificial intelligence and computing power. With this vital, real-time information, farmers can make better and accurate decisions in agriculture.

Climate Corp. President Michael Stern told his Harvard audience that agricultural revolution will not come from new plant breeds and other genetic innovations, but from information and digital technology, Harvard Gazette reported. The first significant agricultural revolution started 10,000 years ago when human beings began using farm for their crops, said Harvard University Center for the Environment co-director Peter Hubers, who introduced Stern during the event. Meanwhile, the second great revolution happened from the 1930s to the 1960s when high-yield crops were developed along with advancements in irrigation, which was called the "green revolution."

Now, Huybers claim that the third great agricultural revolution will be in the field of information. Speaking during the "Future of Food" lecture series by HUCE, Stern said the agriculture revolution inclined towards the digitization of information is badly needed in the coming decades. One specific example for this revolution is the "precision agriculture," where advancements in technology are used to manage crops and livestock, and drones are one of the leading devices in this field, Crop Life reported.

Global population is rising at a rapid rate, while land for agriculture is constrained due to environmental issues, which is why finding out how to grow more food is very important. This concern is an effect of the climate change, which has altered weather patterns. This leads to various plant disease and agricultural pests' problems, as well as water availability.

Stern said agriculturists should find a way to develop new tools as they face the future. This is something they need in the coming 10 to 15 years as the planet will become a lot drier and hungrier.

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