We must pause and ponder before the revolution takes root, given the potentially transformative effects of impending technologies on farming – both positive and negative. It must benefit everyone, including farmers (of any size or scale), landowners, farm workers, rural communities, and the general public.
The fourth agricultural revolution, like the fourth industrial revolution, refers to expected changes brought on by new technology, particularly the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to make better planning decisions and power autonomous robots. Drone-delivered agrochemicals, for example, might be used to grow and pick crops, weed, milk cattle, and distribute agrochemicals.
The milking of cows by robots is a good example. A farmer informed us in our research that utilizing robots had improved his work-life balance and allowed a disabled farm worker to avoid dextrous farm jobs. They had, however, produced a “new sort of stress” as a result of the information overload and the notion that the farmer needed to be monitoring data 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
New technologies, according to the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), could attract younger, more technically skilled workers to an aging workforce. By removing the back-breaking preconceptions associated with farming and increasing the use of machinery, such advancements may enable a broader spectrum of people to participate in farming.