Precision agriculture holds the key to a more sustainable planet
Kusto Board Member and CEO Kusto Agro
To a time-traveller from half a century ago, the agricultural industry of today would look like something from a science fiction movie. Cutting-edge machinery, farmers sat around computers studying graphs, charts and pages of numbers rather than out in the field sowing, ploughing and reaping. In short, agriculture has moved from the most physical of jobs to one centred around technology and data analysis. As a result, we have the ability to farm in the most efficient, least destructive way for generations.
Precision agriculture is by no means a simple or quick process. It has taken Kusto Agro years of planning and considerable investment to grow the information gathering capabilities essential to improving efficiency. Results are not something that can be achieved overnight, or even over a season. However the longer-term consequences of not doing so would be worsening environmental impact and diminishing financial returns.
By deploying technology, we are harnessing data and information in a way previously impossible. Sensors in our fields allow us to understand soil damage, water usage, growth rates, precise temperatures and much more. There is of course a commercial benefit, being able to generate more produce from less land, as well as improving quality. However, precision agriculture also allows for improved sustainability, rolling back the negative impact farming has had on our plant’s environment.
Less water usage is an obvious example of how precision farming, more specifically through precision irrigation, enables sustainability, using only the water required and no more. Furthermore, technology allows us to have a more accurate view of soil damage, allowing for the earlier introduction of preventative measures and stopping more permanent harm to the land. Additionally, we can reduce carbon emissions by requiring less vehicles out in the field monitoring the progress of crops, because it can be done from a desk instead.
With the agricultural sector one of the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases, precision farming is a method that can be applied across the globe to bring emissions down. It is our responsibility as companies profiting from the environment to do all we can to prevent damaging it. Precision farming methods enable this. Kusto Agro sees deploying technology to improve sustainability as our top priority and we hope other producers do too, helping to create a more sustainable environment.