Farming has progressed quite a lot in the last few years and is still progressing in leaps and bound but the industry is facing unprecedented challenges. The population is growing steadily, the climate becoming more unpredictable and the area of arable land is limited in supply. By 2050 it is expected that the population of the world will grow to 9.6 billion people, shooting the demand for food by a whopping 70%!
One arena in which there has been incredible progress is farming equipment. Farming equipment is becoming more user friendly and more efficient. No longer is the tractor a huge diesel guzzling vehicle which is blamed for being the leading cause of back pain among farmers.
Take the New Holland T8.435 tractors for example. It is as comfortable as a sedan and very easy to drive. And this tractor is the just the tip of the ice-berg.
There are tractors which can be controlled via satellite. And these tractors give back a lot of data to the farmer. Such data can be used to carry out what is being called smart farming. For example, if you analyze the raw data, you can know exactly which part of the field needs spraying, where fertilizer is required and where are the weeds present. This is being called precision farming and adds a whole new dimension to farming.
And it is not just the tractors that are getting smarter. Farmers now have a lot of specialized tools at their disposal. For example, cow herders can buy smart collars that measure the body temperature of each cow and send live updates on each animal’s health. This helps to ensure that each animal is in its optimal health enabling the farm to get the best possible milk output.
However, the progress in machinery is often thought to be one of the many steps taken to “industrialize farming”. To progress in farming we do not need industrialization, instead what the farming sector is aiming for is the optimization of existing processes and the increasingly efficient use of existing arable land. And for this we need to collect data from existing farming techniques and re-interpret them to be more useful. And a number of companies like Du Point and John Deere are already collecting data and analyzing it. Real time information about crops could provide new opportunities for improvement in yield and crop quality.
How can farmers gain the finance for new efficient machinery?
While we have mentioned that the end game is not for farms to buy more efficient machinery and become “industrialized”, but it is still the first step towards smarter farming.
Finance is quite a barrier for many small and mid-scale farms. Banks usually have quite a complicated process and charge high interest. Also they may push for the purchase of new machinery instead of a used or refurbished one.
However, a bank is not the only option for getting financing. There are dealers which can help you to find the machinery you need (whether new or used) and arrange the necessary financing as well.
Author: Barney Whistance is a passionate Finance, Heavy Machinery and Lifestyle blogger who loves to write about prevailing trends. You can find him using Twitter and LinkedIn.