“The era of 24-hour, continuous, non-stop farming is soon upon us!” – #Futurist Jim Carroll
I was in Orlando yesterday for a talk for AgFirst – a group in the Eastern US that manages lending and finance to the agricultural community.
In 45 minutes, I barely had the time to scratch the surface of the massive number of trends sweeping the world of agriculture. Smart plants hyper-connected with smart dust; weed zapping robots; micro-varietals; hyper-located weather analysis and much much more! There is so much science and technology coming into this space that it can be overwhelming – it’s one of the fastest industries around!
One of the most fascinating trends has to do with the impact of self-driving, autonomous vehicles – it will take us from a world in which we ‘farm when the sun is up’ to one where the farm equipment is operating, mostly by itself, 24 hours a day, night and day.
The production and efficiency impact will be dramatic!
That’s but one trend with profound implications – global thinkers are increasingly asking the question, “why do we even farm outdoors?” The acceleration of trends with vertical, indoor farming is speeding up, particularly as massive urbanization and the rise of megacities takes hold. One day, much of our global food production will occur inside buildings that reach to the sky.
I do an extensive number of agricultural events for global leaders in this sector – this particular photo is from a talk for Simplot, the largest potato producer in the world. (Think MacDonalds fries!)
Many people continue to view farming from the sepia-toned photos of the 1940s and 1950s – that Normal Rockwell painting of the farmer and his wife. They’re standing there, olden-days style, with a pitchfork. They seem rather world-weary, downbeat.
That’s not the reality on the ground. People don’t realize the technological and scientific advances or the massive opportunities for international growth in this sector.
Get beneath the surface, and the pace of change is staggering.