By George Mbakaya
The year 2019 is gone! For farmers, it had mixed fortunes. In many ways, the year was characterised by a prolonged dry spell, poor produce prices and flooded fields.
2020 presents another opportunity to make for the lost time and missed targets and opportunities. This is the time to set ourselves some New Year’s resolutions.
Farming is becoming increasingly technical and high-tech machines and innovations allow farmers to be more accurate, decrease wastage and increase productivity and profit margins.
Agriculture is utilising data from varied sources; satellite images, weather tracking, and sensors on farm equipment and plants.
Sooner than later both water and fertiliser will also be carefully measured and monitored, sometimes on a plant-by-plant basis. Look out for new tools for water management which can track irrigation scheduling, check out real-time soil moisture plus more.
Tractor cabs that look like aeroplane cockpits, cow heat detection devices, crop-monitoring drones, robot milking machines, sensors that constantly measure everything from nitrogen content to livestock biometrics are the future.
Progressive farmers worldwide are rapidly adapting 21st century to technology to increase crop yields and improve efficiencies.
Embracing the new ways of doing things should be an option if you want to stay ahead of the game.
It will ensure you have all the tools necessary for a successful farming operation in 2020.
Go organic if you can
Food safety means ensuring the food people consume is completely safe and free of any kind of contamination, including microbial, parasitic or chemical contamination. Studies have shown that in recent decades, with development of technology and increasing use of additives, pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones in food production processes, there have been undeniable effects on the health of people living in developing countries.
Resulting diseases and contaminants include congenital abnormalities and cancers. On that note, the production of safe food is essential for protecting consumers from the hazards of foodborne illnesses.
Food safety hazards may occur at different stages of the food chain starting right from primary production and extending to secondary and tertiary processing, storage and distribution and packaging. Implementing good practices during on-farm production and post-production processes is extremely critical.
It is possible to go organic. Adopt Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for the year 2020 and save lives.
Networks help farmers pool their expertise and energy and make a significant contribution to their farming activities. Living in the technology age, there isn’t a good excuse for not knowing what is going on in the world around you.
If you haven’t figured out how to use the internet, ask for help. You will be amazed at the information and resources available to you.
Tweet and Facebook!
Social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and others can be a great way to interact with other farmers or keep track of latest market trends and breaking news. They can be accessed from a mobile device and are able to connect with people around the world.
Farm shows can be a great way to network, take in roundtable discussions and see the latest innovations in agriculture. We at Smart Harvest will be part of your ‘networks’ providing the technical support you need to succeed in farming. Happy New Year Farmers!
Original Story on Farmers.co.ke