The agricultural ecosystem is the primary source of all food and food-related industries in the global market. This ecosystem is evolving to accommodate the shift in dietary patterns of the world population thereby, resulting in changes in the agricultural yields year after year. The introduction of innovative precision agriculture technology will effectively help to mitigate the negative effects of over-population and meet the growing demands in the global market. Precision agriculture technology involves the deployment of a web of sensors, drones, and software to process, gather, and analyze data to derive actionable insights for on-farm decisions. These solutions are designed to help farmers to use the right amount of fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides. The technologies are designed to prevent the deterioration of soil quality and offer significant cost savings and additional features. The various government agencies are offering subsidies and incentives for the establishment of digital infrastructure and procurement of smart infrastructure resulting in the increasing demand for precision agriculture technology in the global market.

The precision agriculture technology market is estimated to reach values of more than $9 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of approximately 16% during 2018-2023.

The three major applications that impact the growth and development of precision agriculture technology  are discussed below:

1.    Guidance and Monitoring Systems

Guidance and monitoring systems play an important part in everyday functions across agriculture industries. Precision agriculture technology uses GPS integrated with GIS and remote sensing devices. These solutions are used by federal agencies and research projects for large-scale analysis in agriculture and are designed to offer comprehensive solutions to farming communities. The guidance and monitoring systems segment uses GNSS and GIS systems extensively by farming communities for the data that is easily available, extractable, and moldable to produce meaningful insights helping generate better yields in the global precision agriculture technology market.

The guidance and monitoring system market is projected to grow at a CAGR of around 16% during 2017-2023.

The guidance monitoring systems categorize the segment into the following solutions:

·         GNSS

GNSS are navigation systems that employ satellites to determine autonomous geo-spatial positioning. The GNSS systems in the precision agriculture technology market are used for farm planning, soil sampling, swath and tractor guidance, crop scouting, field mapping, and yield monitoring applications. These systems are designed to enable farmers to work and continue their farming operations even during low visibility field conditions such as darkness, rain, dust, and fog.

GNSS systems are estimated to grow at a CAGR of approximately 14% during the forecast period.

·         GIS

Geographical information systems (GIS) is a computer-driven system that is used for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on the earth’s surface. GIS in precision agriculture technology market is gaining traction and is used for yield monitoring, elevation mapping, drought scanning, resource estimation, and distribution. The adoption of these systems will help corporates leverage GIS to implement target marketing and better product portfolio distribution to derive better returns on pesticide, fertilizer, and farm equipment sales.

·         Remote Sensing

Remote sensing uses satellite-or aircraft-based sensor technologies to classify and distinguish objects and terrain on earth. Remote sensing in precision farming will help end-users deploy or gather data from terrains from otherwise termed to be inaccessible or difficult to map through regular systems. Remote sensing uses active and passive sensors to determine soil moisture. Additionally, these solutions are used for the detection work to ascertain fraudulent crop insurance claims and for the settlements during destructive emergencies such as floods and droughts.

The remote sensing systems are expected to grow at a CAGR of over 14% during 2018.

2.    Telematics

In the precision agriculture technology telematics is considered as the “latest trend” in the global market. Telematics captures real-time data from farm equipment operating in a field and transfers the same to the internet or the cloud. The farming community leverages telematics to gather information about farm site and get real-time information about climate. Telematics ensures remote management of agricultural machinery fleet, remote diagnostics, and direct technical assistance from manufacturers’ technical personnel in the global market. The leading companies operating in the global precision agriculture market are integrating the telematic data with back office inputs to generate insights about farm expenditure and operational profitability on a real-time basis.

Telematic systems are anticipated to grow at a CAGR of around 17% during the forecast period.

3.    Variable Rate Technology

Variable rate technology (VRT) is a technology that enables the farmer to control or vary the rate of crop inputs. VRT module and equipment are used to apply inputs using precise location coordinates and time to achieve site-specific application rates. DGPS receiver, VR software, and controllers are some of the important components of the VRT system. Variation in input application can yield not only higher cost savings but also minimize the excessive spent of labor in areas otherwise not warranted. The three major applications of VRT systems in the precision agriculture technology include variable rate fertilizer, variable rate pesticides, and variable rate seeding.

The VRT systems are likely to grow at a CAGR of more than 14% over the next few years.

The leading vendors operating in the precision agriculture technology market are AgJunction, Trimble Navigation, AGCO Corp, Deere & Company, and Topcon Corp.

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