Farming goes high tech – Using data for farm risk management

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Farming goes high tech – Using data for farm risk management

It’s estimated that the world’s population will reach a staggering 9 billion people by 2050. And according to the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organisation, by 2050 we’ll need to produce 70 per cent more food to feed our increasingly crowded world.

But how can we possibly meet this enormous additional demand?

Productivity is the answer. Our farmers need to produce more from less. They need to improve production and yield, and improve the management of land and food resources. And harnessing the power of agricultural technology – or ag-tech as it’s commonly known – is the key. Without doubt, in the coming years, the need for increases in global food production will drive the use of technology in the agricultural sector to levels never seen before.

Ag-tech on the rise

The use of ag-tech by Australian farmers is not new. It has a long history of driving productivity gains. But farmers are embracing it on a whole new level as innovations provide them with the ability to manage their farms in a way they never have before.

From using drones and satellite imagery to monitor fencelines and the health of crops to driverless tractors and tracking technology for herd movements, farmers are now experimenting with a wide range of ag-tech solutions to optimise land and water use in order to drive costs down. A GPS system fitted to a driverless tractor can help improve crop yields by reducing petrol costs. Drones and satellite imagery can track pasture growth rates to allow optimal herd rotation across a farm. The possibilities for the application of ag-tech are endless.

With the application of this technology comes data. Lots of data! New technologies mean farmers can capture data at every level of production. And data helps make decisions. So instead of making decisions at a paddock or herd level, they will have the ability to monitor and control inputs with far greater precision down to the level of an individual plant or animal.

Farm Risk Management

The data gathered from ag-tech can also help manage risk. Capturing the right data is critical to assessing risk. It helps you to identify what your key risks are and how likely it is that the risks will eventuate. It helps you work out which risks pose the most serious threat and informs what steps you can take to eliminate or minimise those risks.

If your business is harnessing the benefits of ag-tech, you need to think about how the data you are gathering can help inform your risk management strategy and insurance coverage. Developing an effective risk management strategy and ensuring you have the right coverage is a complicated task, so you should always seek advice from an expert. They will be able to guide you through the process of developing a risk management strategy and obtaining the right rural and/or farm insurance.

As well as our metropolitan office, Emjay Insurance Brokers has a rural presence. We understand the perils and exposures you face and are ideally placed to advise rural farmers and business owners of their risk management and insurance needs. Contact us today to discuss your needs on (02) 9796 0400.