Projected to grow at a CAGR of around 11% the precision farming market is expected to witness a significant growth over the forecast period owing to advancement in agricultural industry and cost reduction. Precision farming helps in managing the variability within the fields to best utilize the resources, decreasing production cost and minimizing the impact on environment.
The precision farming techniques helps improve the economic and environmental sustainability of crop production. It involves helping farmers across the world to maximize the effectiveness of crop inputs. The growing interest in information processing and automated data acquisition is to develop the farming technique for improved farm management which in turn is to fuel the market growth in next few years. The effectiveness and benefits of using precision farming techniques is highly dependent on the capabilities of the technology being used. Precision farming prevents soil degradation in cultivable land and reduces the chemical use in crop production. Furthermore, it helps in efficient use of water resources and dissemination of modern farm practices to improve quality, quantity and reduced cost of production in agricultural crops. The above aforementioned points are to drive the industry growth over the forecast period.
The increasing application of this farming on arable land, fruits & vegetables and viticulture sectors, and precision livestock farming is to fuel the market growth over next eight years. The advancements in technologies used currently such as global positioning system (GPS), sensor technologies, GIS and variable-rate technologies are to have a positive impact on the industry over the forecast period. Moreover, increasing global demand for food on account of growing population is to fuel the market growth over the period of time.
Precision farming helps monitor the crop health for yield production through various technologies such as GIS, GPS and VRT. The government is also providing its assistance to this technology to help farmers in the long run. These aforementioned points are also anticipated to drive the market growth over the forecast period. However, high costs or huge capital investment, unavailability of various services, knowledge demand, output data management and uncertain benefits are to pose a challenge on the growth of this industry.
Furthermore, usage of unmanned aerial vehicles that follows the GPS path daily and gather images which are digitized, geo-referenced and mapped and can be used by farmers to detect nutrient deficiencies and scout crops provides for opportunities in this market. Also, the expansion of smartphones in precision farming offer for further opportunities in the market.
The Asia-Pacific market is anticipated to grow in the near future owing to its huge population and large farmlands. Also, the Americas is anticipated to hold the largest share over the forecast period on account of the presence of major players and being the pioneering nation of precision farming.
The market can be segmented on the basis of technology, hardware device and software & services, and application. On the basis of technology the market consists of guidance systems which include GPS, GNSS and GIS, remote sensing and variable rate technology (VRT). GPS provides continuous position information in real time which allows soil and crop positions to be mapped. GIS stores layers of information such as yield maps, remotely sensed data, soil nutrient levels etc.
On the basis of hardware, the market is divided into automation & control system and sensing and monitoring devices. The automation & control system further includes display, guidance & steering, GPS and mobile devices. The sensing and monitoring devices include yield sensors soil sensors, water sensors and climate sensors. Hardware devices held the largest market size in terms of value in the near past. The automation & control system market is anticipated to grow at the highest CAGR over the forecast period.
On the basis of software & services, the market consists of farm management software which further includes local and cloud based software, and design integration & consultation. The software segment is expected to account for the largest growth mechanism for precision farming market. Crop management is anticipated to grow at the highest rate owing to the fact that it helps in monitoring & auditing, landscape & soil management, crop nutrition and minimizing waste.
On the basis of application, the market can be divided into hardware and software application. The hardware application includes yield monitoring, variable rate application, field mapping and soil monitoring. The software application includes crop management, financial management, farm inventory management, personnel management, weather tracking and forecasting.
Major players in the market are Trimble Navigation Limited, Agjunction Inc., Deere & Company, Raven Industries Inc., Precision Planting Inc., Teejet Technologies, AG Leader Technology, SST Development Group, Inc., and Topcorn Precision Agriculture. These industries used merger & acquisitions as their strategic initiatives.
In March 2015, Topcon Positioning Group announced the acquisition of Digi-Star, a global leader in agricultural solutions involving weight sensors and control systems for feeding, planting, fertilizer, and harvest equipment manufacturers.
Research Support Specialist, USA