Sustainable farming is increasingly viewed as less of a commodity and more of a necessity. It’s a broad concept, too. After all, “sustainable” simply means something that can be continued or upheld. And at the end of the day, don’t we want our food systems and farming businesses to continue? Fortunately, there are many ways to farm sustainably so that we can continue to produce food without squeezing every last drop out of the land, metaphorically and literally.
Five Innovations In Sustainable Agriculture
With billions of dollars invested into sustainable agriculture developments, we are sure to see more options for growers on the horizon. At Fruit Growers Supply, we keep our fingers on the pulse of agricultural innovation to continue meeting your needs in an ever-changing business environment. Here are a few innovations in sustainable agriculture that have gained traction recently and are experiencing wider adoption among growers.
Automation in farming is probably the biggest umbrella category of advancements in sustainable agriculture. From AI and IoT systems that monitor every aspect of your fields and resource use (so you can optimize your operations) to drones that give you a live look at your orchard and robots that can harvest swiftly and efficiently, machines and computers are becoming more ubiquitous across agriculture. Automation saves critical time for farmers and provides greater insight at a grower’s fingertips than what can be gleaned by humans alone.
Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) Technology
RTK Tech is under the broad umbrella of farm automation. Essentially, it uses satellites and GPS technology to determine the precise locations of your machines, and your AI systems can evaluate paths for your machines to travel. Considering that soil compaction from heavy farm equipment is one of your most significant threats to soil health, having a system that optimizes machine travel paths to protect your soil and efficiently accomplish tasks around your fields could be a game changer. These optimized pathways can also help your irrigation efforts because water infiltrates loose soil much better than compacted soil.
Micro-drip irrigation systems
You may already have drip irrigation systems in your operations since they’re the most sustainable farm crop irrigation system. When appropriately used, crops receive 90% of applied water through drip irrigation. As the name implies, micro-drip irrigation is much like drip irrigation. It’s not a smaller system; instead, the mechanism of water application differs. Micro-irrigation uses different low-pressure, precision-delivery irrigation systems. In traditional drip irrigation, the water indeed drips either from slits in the polyethylene tubing or components mounted at the base of a plant. Micro-drip irrigation uses small, low-pressure sprinklers staked into the drip tubing.
Bee Vectoring Technology
Bee Vectoring Technology, or BVT, is a method of using pollinators to apply fungicides to crops. The way it works is that growers hire commercial beehive operators to pollinate their crops. Inside the beehive is a small dispenser containing an organic, all-natural powdered fungicide. As the bee leaves the hive, it picks up some of this powder and deposits it in the flowers as it goes about its business of pollinating crops.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to grow crops in Central Valley, California, where the sun shines over 300 days a year and the soil is of exceptional quality. The greenhouse market has expanded dramatically in recent years, with a race to incorporate sustainable, modern technologies like AI systems and optimized lighting and irrigation to create the perfect indoor growing environment. Greenhouse technology is most commonly adopted near urban centers so people can access fresh, locally-grown produce year-round. Here in California, there are plenty of crops that can be grown year-round or thrive in winter months.
FGS is here for your sustainable agriculture needs
The future of agriculture has never been clearer. We’re headed towards greater automation, streamlined processes, and optimized use of resources. The experts are FGS are here to help you adapt to these changes and incorporate new technologies that will make your growing operations more efficient. So stop by one of our supply stores, or give us a call to chat with our team of experts about your options for the next steps in optimizing your growing operations. Have any questions? We’d love to hear from you – stop in one of our supply stores today or fill out our contact form by clicking below.