AI Farming – when AI grows crops

November 22, 2018

AI Farming – when AI grows crops

           Agriculture is one of Thailand’s main industries and just like any other industry, it is changing as technology evolves. Today, we are going to see how AI technology is being used to take agriculture into the future.

           Artificial Intelligence is being used to solve multiple issues in agriculture. One example is Iron Ox’s AI Farming solution which uses AI to care for crops in farms from the seeding stage to transplanting and harvesting. AI’s efficiency reduces yield loss and effectively cuts the cost of operations.

           Another example is River Technology’s weed control solution. Statistically, weeds cost US farmers as much as $43 billion in losses every year. This has led to the invention of The See and Spray robot which can ‘see’ the locations of the weeds and ‘spray’ chemicals on them accordingly in contrast to traditional methods that spread chemicals over the crops unnecessarily.

           Unlike humans, AI doesn’t need sleep or breaks. Companies like Harvest CROO Robotics are making use of a machine’s tireless energy to develop a solution that allows harvesting 24-hours a day which in turn greatly improves farm productivity.

           AI isn’t just about robots. We hear a lot about machine data analysis these days and the agriculture industry isn’t missing out on this either. Agribotix combines the power of a drone’s unique bird-eye perspective and a computer’s newfound intelligence to create a drone system that monitors farm data and suggests improvements in farming. Agribotix now works with 44 different types of crops and serves customers in 45 countries around the world.

           Another interesting aspect of agriculture is the optimization of farming conditions. Imagine a greenhouse where a computer brain controls the whole environment whether it’s heat, humidity, watering, or something else. A Chinese company KingPeng gave life to this idea by developing a fully automatically controlled greenhouse with systems like heating, spraying and irrigation that humans can oversee through a smartphone app. In addition, KingPeng use IoT technology and data science techniques to enhance the quality and yield of the farm, enabling farmers to use their land better and plan their crops better according to factors like weather and market demand.

           One big obstacle on the road that leads to better farming is weighing the costs of these solutions against that of labor in different countries. Some companies like Iron Ox position themselves as a premium product that supports urban farming in limited spaces. Products like these can change the way we think about agriculture, and perhaps in the future, maybe we will even see avocado fields in Bangkok!

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