The global agriculture precision market was valued at USD 4,694 million in 2017 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.8% during the forecast period 2019–2026. Precision agriculture (PA)—also known as satellite farming—is a farming management system based on observing, measuring, and responding to inter and intra-field changeability in crops. The purpose of precision agriculture research is to describe a Decision Support System (DSS) for entire farm management with the goal of enhancing returns on inputs while protecting resources. It is a method that uses technologically advanced gears to safeguard the crops and soil for best health and productivity. The primal focus of PA is to guarantee profitability, sustainability, and safety of the environment.
The precision farming technique revolves around the use of specialized equipment such as sensing devices, antennas and access points, and the automation and control system, which also involves maintenance services and managed services.
A growing number of applications for telematics in agriculture are anticipated to drive the demand for precision farming. Telematics services consists of tracking devices that uses Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) to depict the position of the equipment for management purposes, which is further grabbing the attention of the key manufacturers that are keen on improving farm efficiency, reducing the cost of overall agricultural operations, and maximizing productivity for implementing telematics services in their equipment.
Precision agriculture is gaining popularity among farmers due to the growing need for optimum production with the given resources. Additionally, the changing weather patterns due to increasing global warming have necessitated the adoption of advanced technologies to enhance productivity and crop yield. Precision agriculture offers a number of benefits including real-time farm monitoring, climate forecasting, and optimal field supplies to upsurge the yield with the least human efforts and wastage.
The growing use of cloud-based technology, rising use of smartphones, and increasing application of technology in farming/agriculture are some of the major factors driving the precision agriculture technology. Moreover, the rapidly increasing population, significant cost savings associated with precision farming techniques, and a rising number of government initiatives to adopt modern agricultural techniques are further boosting the market growth. As per the survey conducted by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, around 80% of the world’s population is projected to live in urban areas by 2050. Owing to their various benefits such as prime output in limited resources and improved crop quality farmers are widely adopting this technique. In addition to this, government incentives and subsidies to increase productivity and conserving the environment are expected to catalyze the demand for precision agriculture. This is further supported by changing climatic conditions, rapid urbanization, and expanding the application of navigation systems.
The global agriculture precision market is segmented by components, technology, and application.
By component, the global agriculture precision market is segmented into hardware and software. The hardware segment is expected to dominate the market during the forecast period. This can be attributed to the increasing adoption of automation and control devices, such as GPS/GNSS, drones/UAVs, guidance and steering systems, irrigation controllers, yield monitors, and sensors. The yield monitoring process is backed with robust sensors and GPS devices that aid in measuring various yield parameters. To reduce the overlapping of tractor and equipment passes for the yield monitoring process, the agricultural vehicles are enabled with GPS-based auto-guidance technology, resulting in soil compaction and labor, time, & fuel saving as well.
The hardware segment is bifurcated into automation and control systems and sensing devices. Increasing demand for automation and control devices like sensors, smartphones, cameras, and UAV sensors, smartphones, and cameras are some of the major factors driving the market growth. The automation and control systems sub-segment has been categorized into drones, application control devices, driverless tractors, and mobile devices. The sensing devices segment has been segmented into soil sensors, water sensors, and climate sensors.
The software segment is bifurcated into web-based and cloud-based precision agriculture. The cloud-based software model is anticipated to gain significant market share during the projected period as it reduces energy consumption and provides storage for a large amount of data while facilitating cost saving. It also focuses on shared networks, servers, and storage devices, which further eliminated the costs incurred in the maintenance of hardware and software infrastructure.
By technology, the global agriculture precision market is segmented into GIS, GPS, VRT, telematics, and remote sensing. GPS is one of the highest revenue-generating segment owing to its wide application in the agriculture equipment. These technologies are commonly used to govern & process location-based data. Also, precision farming technologies employ GPS to boost the efficiency of processes and reduce the unnecessary expenditure on agrochemicals, fuel, and seeds. In addition to this, the technology, along with the farm management software, can be utilized for inter-vehicle communication and automated record keeping. However, the telematics market is expected to grow abruptly during the forecast period. This can be attributed to the growing adoption of telematics services for increasing farm efficiency, reducing the cost of agricultural operations, and maximizing profitability.
By application, the global agriculture precision market is segmented into yield monitoring, crop scouting, field mapping, irrigation management, weather tracking & forecasting, inventory management, farm labor management, and financial management. Yield monitoring is one of the most extensively used applications in precision farming as it plays a vibrant role in understanding the field of variability and helps farmers in making the best use of their yields. The yield monitors are mounted on harvesting equipment to assess the information about climate conditions, soil properties, and fertilizers, and are also used on a variety of crops, including corn, wheat, soybeans, sugar beets, potatoes, and cotton.
Geographically, the global agriculture precision market is segmented into five regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East and Africa.
North America is leading the global agriculture precision market and is likely to continue the same during the forecast period. This can be attributed to the growing adoption of mechanization and increasing dependence on technology. Some other factors propelling the market growth are the increasing government initiatives for the adoption of modern agriculture technologies and rapidly developing infrastructure. In the region, the farmers are increasingly adopting innovative farming systems and gears such as navigation and guidance systems, sensors, display devices, and farm management software. Recently, in 2018, the federal government passed the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act to meet the connectivity needs of the precision farming in the U.S., which provides and investigates policy recommendations on how to improve the broadband internet access in croplands.
Asia-Pacific is anticipated to be one of the fastest-growing markets due to rising food demand, growing adoption of big data, and increasing government investments towards the adoption of modern farming techniques. The market is majorly driven by the rapidly growing population, rising demands for food products, and the need to enhance farm output. In a recent study conducted by the Geospatial world, Asia is expected to increase its agriculture output by 20% in the near future making it one of the fastest-growing markets.
Europe is expected to account for a significant share of the global market. Agriculture and farming is not the base for the countries in Europe and it is highly dependent on the import of food materials and products. This is because of the rapid industrialization activities in Europe that has subsequently limited agricultural activities.
Middle East and Africa contribute to the least market share and is expected to grow slower than the global average growth rate owing to the limited availability of technology in the region. Same as Europe, the Middle East imports most of its food material and products. As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), during 2012–2014, the Middle East & North African countries imported about 138.3 million metric tons (MMT) of rice, 103.3 MMT soybeans, 91.5 MMT corn, 57.0 MMT soymeal, 46.7 MMT cotton, 39.1 MMT rice, and 7.4 MMT poultry.
The key players in the market are Agribotix LLC (U.S.), Deere & Company (U.S.), SST Development Group, Inc. (U.S.), Farmers Edge, Inc. (Canada), Granular, Inc. (U.S.), Trimble Inc. (U.S.), AGCO Corporation (U.S.), AgJunction (U.S.), Raven Industries, Inc. (U.S.), and AG Leader Technology (U.S.).