5 Modern Agricultural Practices Today

Just like every other sector, the agricultural sector is being transformed by innovative technology and practices. These practices are fast replacing traditional methods like bush fallowing, rotational farming, grafting and agro-forestry.

Vertical Farming

This is the practice of using indoor farming techniques and controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) technology in vertically inclined surfaces. These facilities utilize artificial lightning and environmental control systems (humidity, temperature, gases etc.) that are similar to greenhouses where natural sunlight is augmented with metal reflectors. Vertical farming yields 10 times more than traditional agriculture. In areas where urbanization overpopulation has entrenched into farmlands, these method will be of great benefit to farmers.

There are 3 types of vertical farming:

  • Hydroponics is the vertical farming method of growing plants without soil by using mineral nutrients in a   water base. The nutrients include byproduct of fish waste, duck manure, chemical fertilizers, etc. Most hydroponic reservoirs are built of plastic, concrete, glass, metal or wood. The nutrient solution is changed on a schedule or when the concentration drops below a determined level.
  • Aeroponics was introduced by the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) in the 1990s. It is the technique of growing plants in air or mist without soil and very little water.
  • Aquaponics is used to grow fish and plants in the same ecosystem. The fish waste provides the nutrients for the plants and in return, plants help filter the water.

The Drones & The Bees

Times magazine claims that there are more than 700 species of North American Bee that headed toward extinction. Scientists estimate that 90% of the world’s wild plants and 30% of the world’s crops are cross-pollinated by bees, bats, birds and other insects. Since the drop in bee populations due to Colony Collapse Disorder, researches on the use of robotics as a possible alternative is on the rise. Small drones are developed in labs to replicate bees in plant pollination.

See Also Water Harvesting Techniques

Polyhouse/Polytunnel Farming

A polyhouse is a tunnel made from steel and covered in polythene used in modern farms. Humidity and ventilation can be natural or regulated by motorized ventilators while the interior is heated up by solar radiation. The plastic is protected from damage by Ultraviolet rays from the sun. Polyhouses can be used to grow fruits, vegetables and flowers all year round.

Artificial Intelligence, IoT and Automation

Many companies like Smart Ag are developing functional driver-less tractor technology software that can provide farmers with logistics assistance during demanding harvest season. Colin Hurd, the founder of Smart Ag said that the innovative technology will allow farmers to automate their existing equipment and maximize its efficiency and capacity. This AutoCart Software is a cloud-based platform, which means that these automated Ag vehicles will join the worldwide internet of things (IoT). Sensors can also be used in automated farms to enable farmers understand forest, soil or water conditions.


In the world today, robots are beginning to perform human-related tasks that require intensive labor. In agribusiness too, robots can be used to harvest and plant crops. This will be very helpful in large scale farming for export business.

Although, many farmers in developing countries still make use of old techniques, these modern techniques are yielding high quality produce over an extended period of cropping. Traditional farmers could take a lesson from modern farmers by incorporating these techniques into already existing practices.

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