06 Apr, 2023

The future of technology on farms

Our Head of Farm Support, Philip O'Connor outlines how AgTech will and should play a very significant role in farmers running more environmentally and financially sustainable farms. However, the issue farmers often have is finding and using the right piece of Agri technology for their own farm.

As part of our 2023 Farm Report survey, we asked respondents what the top 3 challenges are that farmers see agtech addressing:

  • 59% Better management of production/growth rates

  • 48% land/soil efficiencies

  • 46% better management of Farm Financials

Our survey found that the most significant barrier to agtech was cost (48%), with the next biggest issue at 12% being a lack of IT skills. This statistic is not surprising as agtech investments can range from the tens of thousands, such as robots, to a couple of hundred for a piece of software, such as herd or financial app.

Farmers need to analyse each piece of technology and assess its benefits to the farm. Will this new tech make the farmer’slife easier? Will it make a “job” simpler? Will it make the farm more efficient? Will it help with making the farm more environmentally sustainable? Ag tech is there to help a farmer, not make life more complicated and become a cost burden to the farmer.

Whatever type of technology you choose for your farm, it must work for the whole of your team. Everyone in your team needs to be comfortable using it, and it should be streamlined, simple to use and as automated as possible.

Below is a simple tool and guide on the practical questions a farmer should consider before investing in technology for their farm.

Regardless of the price, farmers should always assess the cost/benefit of any investment, and agtech should be no different.

This article was first published in our 2023 Irish Farm Report.