Technology in Agriculture: How Has Technology Changed Farming?
Nowadays, technology has become one of the most powerful things humankind had created. You will see that everything now is modernized and because of innovations it is continuously growing and widely spread around the globe. We can also say that one of the biggest needs of humanity is the existence of Agriculture. Agriculture provides food daily basis and income for the farmers. It is called a traditional procedure but with the attachment of technologies, it is now called Modern Agriculture. Also, the Philippines is widely known for its rich soil land that’s why farming became one of the leading livelihoods of Filipinos especially those areas in the provinces.
Now that technology had entered different industries and the farming industry is not an exemption. The big question is; if it became a great asset to humankind? Before, everything is manual; from the efforts and methods of the farmers from the beginning up until the end of the harvesting time but today everything is different because of the newly entered advanced technology.
Markets are slowly introducing different machines and equipment that replaced the old techniques, ways, and methods usually farmers do in agriculture. We are quickly adapting to the trends from old methods like using animals for plowing, hand-held tools, and manpower for planting and harvesting to new methods that are using technology like machines. Is it a good thing or not? Is the entering of advance technology in the farm sector gives an advantage or a disadvantage especially to the farmer’s point of view?
One of the common problems of Filipinos are the insufficiency of food, if agriculture or farmers provide enough, sufficient and affordable products needed of every Filipinos it is a great help in finding solutions to the problems.
Every harvesting season, farmers hope for high productivity in terms of their crops. High production outcomes in less time consumed the better. It will automatically bring a smile to the farmers. Time and production are the two important things in agriculture. What makes it different now from before is that we acquire the usage of technology. Agricultural technology refers to the technology for the production of machine used on farming. Agricultural machines have been designed for practically every stage of the agricultural process according to Fort. The emerging agriculture technologies today are Soil and Water Sensors, Weather Tracking, Satellite Imaging, Pervasive Automation, Minichromosomal Technology, RFID Technology, and Vertical Farming according to the Ayoka Made in USA Enterprise. The advantages of using modern technologies are the following (1) It reduces the efforts of the farmers; if before they still needed to wake up early just to plow the fields using Carabaos with the hand-held tools in a minimum span of 3 days, today we have the tractors and in just a day it is already ready for the next stage. According to Cooper (2013) irrigation of plants: canals are no more a big problem for agriculture. Water pumps are used to deliver water for irrigating the crops. In Egypt, farmers have successfully used water pumps from the Nile and irrigate their crops. (2) Water pumps are used to supply water for the crops; farmers no longer have to visit the fields at night just to make sure that their crops are being irrigated, since the water they used came from irrigations or canals and it is hard to control so with the use of water pumps it is easier for them to irrigate their crops even during day time.
According to Thaman (2016), One of the major advantages of the use of technology in agriculture is that farmers can now farm more acres in one growing season that ever before. This is important because it means that less people have to be farmers. (3) Farmers can now farm more crops in one growing season ever before; the use of technology is a big help to those who own a field but not a farmer because they don’t need to know anymore how a farmer does in farming instead, they just need to use different types of machinery and contact people to operate it, and eventually produce high outcomes during the harvesting time. This is important because it means that fewer people have to be farmers.’ (4) Modern transportation systems; It will be easier for the farmers to transport their products or harvest crops to the market. Before they still need to use carts just to transport it and it takes a lot of time. (5) Weather forecast systems; with the technology, farmers able to identify and calculate when to start or when to harvest especially, if a storm or typhoon is coming. It is helpful for them to know beforehand to avoid their crops from being destroyed.
According to Cooper (2013), One of the biggest boons of technology to agriculture is the weather forecast system. Now farmers can know the weather beforehand and take necessary precautions to prevent damage of their crops. (6) Increase the efficiency of farming; Previously, farming is intensively difficult and the production is not fast but because of the use of advance modern technology today it helps farmers to increase the productivity in less time, if the process will be fast. Farmers can produce more products when the harvesting season comes so that their profit will increase. According to Thaman (2016), Another is important advantage of technology is the increased efficiency of farming. Each acre of land gets exactly the right amount of seeds, rows are spaced exactly the right amount apart for optional yield, and fertilizer can be applied without waste. All of this results in lower operating costs for the farmer, which in turn makes the use of this technology feasible for farmers. According to Brantley (2015), Technology has been a part of agriculture and used widely to reduce cost. (7) Widely reduce costs; aside from making farmers work fast, they can also able to save more in terms of money because paying a one-day for the operator of the machines compared to a more than a day of using manpower of farmers themselves, when they calculate it they can be saved even half that’s why they choose to use technology. (8) Farmers no longer have to apply fertilizers and pesticides uniformly across entire fields. Instead, they can use the minimum quantities required and target very specific areas, or even treat individual plants differently. In using advanced or modern technologies in farming some disadvantages can’t be helped.
According to Thaman (2016), Thought it does present a distinct disadvantage to small scale farmers who struggle to compete with farmers who harm hundreds or thousands of acres of land. (1) It is a disadvantage to small scale farmers; compare to those farmers or owners of hundreds of hectares of fields, small scale farmers might be at a disadvantage to using modern types of machinery since their land is just small they don’t expect a high outcome. (2) A great loss for farmers in terms of working hands; especially, to those farmers who are just contracting labor since they don’t have a field of their own, the entrance of technologies in farming blocking them and in that way they don’t longer have a source of income.
According to Hopper (2018) an example of a disadvantage of the advanced technology is the industrial world great advance, since the industrial revolution the machines do most of the work agriculture and in the middle of industries causing a great loss for farmers and workers devaluing the working hand. (3) lead to depletion of soil fertility; due to the demand for modern agriculture of excessive use of chemicals and fertilizers to crops the soil or the land slowly decreases its fertility if it continues to be like that way. According to Baid (2018) modern agriculture demands use of lot of fertilizers, pesticides etc. which lead to the depletion of soil fertility. It also harms the food that they are growing by the poisonous think present in the present in the pesticides which is used to kill the pests. It also harms the food that they are growing by the poisonous think present in the (4) modern technologies are hard to operate; mostly people who operates machinery are those who are only aware to use it and since many farmers is lacking in experiences and awareness with the use of modern technology they still prefer to use the old techniques.
Modern Farms and agricultural operations work far differently than those a few decades ago, primarily because of advancement in technology. According to Ramey (2012), technology played a big role in developing the agriculture industry.” Crops have become advanced and secure. Significant changes have been made in different techniques like planting, irrigating and farming techniques. There are more advantages than disadvantages with the entering of technology. It is a good sign that technology has touched agriculture because these modern technologies really helps a lot. In this case, it is more likely to be helpful to the farmers to at least minimize their needed cost and at the same time increase the productivity of their crops for bigger purposes. Technology has provided numerous benefits in agricultural sector. Technology has proved to be the perfect companion for farming. Global population has mostly been affected by the use of technology in agriculture. It is a real legacy and will be vastly useful in the future when we face scarcity in the some of the most valuable natural resources.