Precision farming and traditional farming are two different approaches to agriculture, each with its methodologies and results. Traditional farming represents conventional agriculture practices that farmers have been using for centuries, while precision farming leverages advanced technologies to increase productivity and efficiency in agriculture. In the past years, numerous technological advancements have been made in agriculture to improve crop production and increase the output of farmer efforts. The introduction of precision farming has made it possible to increase profits and enhance the life quality of farmers worldwide. In addition, precision farming, also called smart farming, has allowed farmers to produce more high-quality crops than ever.
As a farmer, you may wonder: Is precision farming better than traditional farming? Is precision farming more profitable than traditional farming? Is it worth shifting to precision farming? What is the difference between traditional farming and precision farming?
Read on to discover the detailed answers to these questions.
What is Traditional Farming?
Traditional farming is an agricultural method that relies on experience and historical knowledge passed down from generation to generation. This agricultural approach involves using natural methods to grow crops. In traditional farming, farmers use conventional planting and harvesting techniques to ensure that crops are healthy and fruitful.
Moreover, the entire field is treated as a single entity, and inputs are applied uniformly over the entire land. So, farmers use standardized amounts of water, pesticides, and fertilizers. Traditional farming is still a productive way to grow crops. These farmers have excellent knowledge of land and plants. They understand how to care for plants and how to manage pests and diseases.
What is Precision Farming?
Precision farming uses technology for irrigation, soil analysis, and crop monitoring. This type of farming relies on data and technology to determine the kind of inputs, the quantity, and the location of those inputs. The technology allows farmers to save water, fertilizer, and pesticides and helps target problem areas effectively.
This farming approach involves using sensors, automated machinery, automated irrigation systems, and GPS technology. With the help of this smart technology, precision farming allows for specific control over resources, which reduces environmental impact and increases overall crop efficiency. Farmers can customize the water and fertilizer application according to the unique needs of each plant.
Differences Between Precision farming and Traditional farming
The differences between traditional and precision farming are becoming more apparent as the agriculture industry continues to evolve. Each approach has its own set of procedures and results. Let's discover the differences between these farming methodologies.
Manual labor is a predominant part of traditional farming. Tasks such as planting, monitoring, irrigation, and harvesting are performed manually, which calls for a significant workforce and long hours of work.
On the other hand, precision farming substantially reduces the need for manual labor by incorporating automated equipment and systems. Farmers don't have to constantly be present on the field to monitor and water the crops. Imagine getting an alert notification on your phone telling you that your plants need more water or plants receiving water automatically when you are away with the help of automatic irrigation systems. This improves overall efficiency and requires less labor.
Planting and Irrigation
Traditional farming involves planting and irrigating entire fields by hand without considering differences in soil types or crop needs. There are less precise irrigation techniques, leading to water and nutrient wastage.
In precision farming, farmers and landscapers use precise irrigation systems like automatic drip irrigation for water conservation, efficient water distribution, and optimal plant health. Soil sensors assess soil conditions that give farmers exact control over planting depths. This customized irrigation approach ensures each plant receives the best possible care.
Traditional farming uses very minimal technology for crop monitoring. It depends on visual assessments and knowledge to monitor crops. In contrast, precision farming uses sensors, drones, satellite imagery, and other technologies to provide data on crop health. It helps farmers detect early signs of diseases and pest infestations and assess environmental factors. Proactive crop monitoring in smart farming improves overall yield and lowers the risk of crop loss.
Traditional farming often leads to environmental issues like soil erosion. This results in water pollution, loss of valuable land, and reduced profitability with time. Precision farming focuses on precise and targeted analysis, which leads to sustainability. The technology reduces chemical inputs and uses the optimum resources per crops' needs.
Yield and Harvest Quality
While traditional farming practices can produce adequate food, precision farming enables farmers to enhance yields and produce high-quality crops. The tailored approach of smart farming and data-driven decision-making contributes to abundant and healthier harvests. This farming methodology provides essential nutrients to crops in the right amount at the right time, which ensures the crops are of the best quality.
In traditional farming, resource management is uniform, which often leads to overuse or underuse of fertilizers, pesticides, and water. However, precision farming helps conserve resources. With the help of technology, farmers can customize input applications depending on the unique needs of each plant. This not only saves resources but also reduces the risk of environmental pollution, crop loss, and economic loss.
Why You Should Turn to Precision Farming
Precision farming is profitable because it saves resources, time, and energy while producing high-quality crops. The global food demand is expected to increase between 59 to 98% over the next 30 years. With this high demand, the pressure to produce higher and enough yields lies on farmers. Precision farming ensures environmental sustainability and increases yield. So, investment in precision agriculture techniques is a wise decision. Currently, around 250,0000 small corn farms in the US have embraced precision farming techniques. This number will only grow in the future.
Precision farming has become crucial today as it offers multiple advantages, such as resource conservation, better crop monitoring, improved quality, lower cost, increased efficiency, and more. With the rise of the world population, the demand for food will also increase, and precision farming will play a key role in meeting this demand sustainably. While traditional farming has a lot of significance, there is a high need to adapt to modern techniques to overcome modern challenges. You can embrace technology without giving up on your tradition. One way to do this is to combine traditional knowledge and experience with modern technology.
Are you looking for a smart irrigation system for your farm? At DripWorks, we offer modern and smart irrigation systems that will help you irrigate your farms precisely and effectively in a controlled manner. DripWorks carries the best quality drip irrigation kits that are ideal for farmers.