The precision agriculture market has gained tremendous impetus from the increased commercial viability of drone technologies. Drones will be supporting the farmers in a wide range of tasks from forecasting and planning to the actual cultivation of the crops in the forthcoming years. This will subsequently aid in supervising the fields to make sure that the crops grown are healthy. Additionally, the concepts of Agriculture 4.0 and advancements in the GPS technologies are poised to revolutionize the global precision farming market, which was worth $5.2 billion at the end of 2018 and the revenue avenues are estimated to increment at a notable CAGR of 14% during the forecast period of 2019 to 2025.

The world’s population is anticipated to grow to almost 10 billion in 2050. The elevation of the demographics will lead to an increase in the production of 70% more crops by 2050. The high growth can be attributed to the escalation of the use of advanced analytics and the Internet of things (IoT) by farmers. Advanced analytics is a part of data science that uses tools and methods to ensure that the soil and crop receives an adequate amount of nutrition and predicts data, which helps the farmers to design their plan of action accordingly.

North America Leading the Precision Agriculture Market

In 2018, North America led the global precision agriculture market revenue with a regional share of 33.6%. Numerous government initiatives are being taken by the government for the development of infrastructure and the adoption of modern agriculture technologies. The Canadian government took an initiative to help its farmers in November 2016. The government invested $42 million in the Clean Seed Capital Group Ltd. to commercialize and enhance the precision agriculture technology. The objective behind the investment was to decrease the use of the excessive amount of pesticides and fertilizers. This investment led to the development of CX-6 SMART Seeder equipment for the farmers, due to this farming became an easy process for them. Similar initiatives by the government and the major players are persuading the growth of the precision agriculture market.

Variable Rate and Soil Monitoring Applications Gaining Tremendous Traction

Variable rate and soil monitoring are the fast-growing and the most developing segments of the precision agriculture market. Variable rate application (VRA) is a range of technology that in a given landscape it only focuses on the automated application of materials. These materials such as fertilizers, seeds, and chemicals are used based on the data collected by GPS, maps, and sensors.  Furthermore, soil monitoring application is the crux of the precision farming revolution in this era. These monitoring sensors are cost-effective, smaller in size, and easier to use. Because of this, farmers have begun deploying them in greater numbers to acquire more dynamic and precise picture to understand what is happening in the land. Moreover, the increasing demand for the key segments is poised to grow at a profitable CAGR of 15.4% through to 2025.

Agriculture 4.0: A New Approach Towards Precision Framing

The agriculture sector is catching up as technology is changing the world. The introduction of automated farm equipment, drones, and the Internet of things (IoT) sensors have changed the business of agriculture. This transformation is widely known as Agriculture 4.0. Agriculture 4.0 considers the value chain side along with the demand side of the food-scarcity situations, by using the technology to address and improve the real needs of consumers and structure the value chain. Agriculture 4.0 has four major objectives that will place pressure on the agriculture industry to meet the demands of the future by taking into consideration of the aspects such as scarcity of natural resources, demographics, climate change, and food wastage. Additionally, it will not be only dependent on fertilizers, pesticides, and applying water across the field. Besides, the agricultural sector will rely on temperature and moisture sensors, robots, GPS, and aerial technology in the upcoming years. In addition to this, the three general trends that are disrupting the precision agriculture market addressing Agriculture 4.0 are:

·         Produce Differently Using New Techniques: Hydroponics, algae feedstock, desert agriculture, seawater farming, and sustainable packaging using bioplastics are the major changes that are observed as the latest techniques in Agriculture 4.0. These techniques are the enhanced versions of farming that is driving the growth of the precision agriculture market.

·         New Technologies are Bringing Food Production to the Consumers: The new technologies such as vertical and urban farming, genetic modification, and applying 3 D printing technology are augmenting the demand for precision agriculture. Considering genetic modification, the crop improvements with traditional techniques were used to grow drought-resistant wheat. However, genetic modification is needed to meet the demand for foods in the future.

·         Cross-Industries Technologies and Applications: Precision agriculture is also driven by nanotechnology. This revolution is observing the nanoparticles that are delivered to plants and advanced biosensors for precision farming. Nanofertilizers helps in the sustained and slow release of agrochemicals that results in the precise dosage for the corps. Furthermore, as precision agriculture will grow the efficiency and productivity will increase in the future. It is expected that 75 million IoT devices for agriculture will be used by 2020 with an average arable land generating 4.1 million data points daily by 2050. This will further expand the precision agriculture market growth.

The Major Players in the Precision Agriculture Market

The key players dominating the precision agriculture market are Raven Industries, Teejet Technologies, Dickey-john Corporation, Trimble Navigation Limited, AGCO Corporation, ropMetrics LLC, Cropmetrics, Deere & Company, Topcon Positioning Systems, and Agjunction. These companies have been continuously focusing on R&D investments, partnerships, JVs, and acquisitions to strengthen their portfolio of products. For instance:

·         Trimble Navigation Ltd, a global precision agriculture leader, is committed to the Indian government’s mission to double farmers’ income and to boost farm productivity. The company is in discussion with the tractors OEMs expand its auto-guidance and auto-steer technologies among the Indian farmers. Trimble’s auto-guidance and auto-steer technology are embedded with the GNSS-based navigation as it can perfectly guide the tractor’s movements in the farms which will lead to better harvesting of crops and sowing of seeds. Additionally, the company is also exploring rental and pay-per-use models for precision agriculture tools. This innovation will make it easier for farmers to invest more in cutting-edge precision agriculture technologies.

·         Topcon Agriculture and Raven Industries declared their partnership last year in September 2018 to further Topcon’s use of the Slingshot Application Programming Interface (API). With this API, Topcon AG provides data through a wireless connection with Raven hardware that offers a flawless integration solution to its customers. With the help of Slingshot API, it is easy for the customers to access important and useful tools and data.

·         AGCO Corporation and AgIntegrated entered into a partnership in May 2018, focusing on delivering AG information management system services to the former’s clients. This step is claimed to digitalize farming techniques and significantly create better scopes for the precision agriculture market growth.

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