Data-led farming is improving security and preventing losses – with other benefits around safe, sustainable agriculture. In meeting food production demands, farmers face diverse daily challenges to achieve maximised yields and optimised profitability. The often remote locations and high-value assets of farms have long made them vulnerable to criminal activity. However, 2019 saw a 9% rise in rural crime at a cost of £54 million and, since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, authorities have noted an increase in livestock rustling and equipment theft according to the Financial Times. This trend has a severe impact on farmers’ bottom lines, necessitating a change in tack to avoid the costs, downtime and losses.
Precision farming using smart technologies is fast evolving to transform the traditional approach. From maximised yields and data-driven sustainable modifications to advanced security capabilities, farmers are embracing digital transformation for its cost-effectiveness, ease of integration, and wide range of benefits.
Traditional farm security measures have failed to keep up with increasingly organised criminal syndicates. Smart security solutions use data to give farmers a constant, real-time view of their farming operations – information which can be remotely accessed at any time.
Some smart technology solutions integrate with existing CCTV and security systems, but many can be tailored to specific concerns, infrastructure, and key assets and personnel for maximum effect.
Not only do farmers get a comprehensive, dynamic view of their entire farming operation, they also get pre-programmed alerts on an extensive range of metrics including unauthorised footfall, movement of tagged assets, the opening of doors and windows, and electric fence faults and breaches.
Wearable technologies leave less to chance when it comes to the security and general wellbeing of livestock. GPS cattle collars are advancing, with far extended battery capabilities and visibility for effective herd management.
According to the United Nations, the global population is expected to grow by more than two billion people by 2050 and food production needs to increase by 70% to meet meat production demands. According to National Geographic, the third green revolution is underway and, as science has solved the problem of world hunger in the past, it seems digital solutions are geared to do the same going forward. By collecting and analysing data, farmers are empowered to make precision adjustments to hone irrigation, fertiliser, and pesticide use – and react to changes in growing conditions, the onset of disease, and so on.
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