Digital agronomy with Rhiza

The ‘digital’ phenomenon within agriculture is improving business outcomes, however, the adoption has varied in momentum throughout the sector. Farmers are mechanics, chemists, biologists and with digitalisation, potentially tech savvy. From cow collars collecting data to drones that can identify and spray weeds, these latest innovations are making noise outside of the sector.

According to William Blair & Co 2013, in the 1950’s the average mid-western farmer fed 15 people. In 1990, they fed 100 and by 2020, the figure will be more than 200. Could digital advancement be the next answer to boosting productivity in agriculture? By 2030, we will be in a ‘perfect storm’ with a predicted population of 8.5 billion. We need to be producing 50 percent more food, 50 percent more energy, and 30 percent more fresh water.

Farming is an industry that has variables like no other and farmers only get one chance at making one good investment a year. Taking the guesswork out of farming by integrating precision and digital technology, the threats of disease, drought and market fluctuations become more manageable. The world is getting warmer and the population is rising, can current farming systems meet societal needs without digital adoption? To date, farmers have required machinery, seed, chemical, fertiliser and soil to grow a crop, now growers should see digital as a tool they can’t afford to farm without.

“Digital agronomy tools need to be easy to use, affordable and support interoperability of data between digital tools” – Dr Matthew Smith, Director of Business Development, Microsoft

From satellite to soil to seed to crop, one of the solutions could lie in digital agronomy. Precision farming over-promised in many cases and left farmers feeling a lack of confidence in new trends. There is now tech available to farmers and agri-businesses that are digitally transforming day to day management of farms, not to mention saving money and enabling smarter farming.

Digital is driving efficiency, and in order to grow with the challenges of farming today, digital adoption is key. These three reasons summarise why farmers should adopt digital innovations on their farm:

  1. Save input costs – farm in a more precise way using variable rate fertiliser and smarter seed planning. Sustainability can be achieved by scouting apps identifying pests, weeds and diseases enabling correct prescriptions to be drawn up.
  2. Increase yields – find out what’s going on above and below the soil. Soil zoning led one farm in Ukraine to a 66.7% sunflower yield increase by focusing on the deficiencies. Get an idea of what your crops may yield or even what growth stage they are at
  3. Have eyes on every hectare of your farm and business – Switch from paper to electronic storage of drilling dates and applications which can help in turn with compliant reporting. Make better data driven decisions and focus on the areas of your farm that need it

RHIZA is the first digital agronomy and precision agriculture service on the U.K market. Now you can join thousands of other farmers who are already benefiting from the 15 years of R&D and in-field experience from IPF and Soil Quest. With RHIZA, you’ll get unique satellite data, crop growth models, hyper local weather data and pest and disease models, allowing the creation of management zones and improved in field decision making.

Visit www.rhizadigital.co.uk and sign up in under 5 minutes to join thousands of other farmers who are using our advanced satellite imaging and analysis to manage every square meter.