Top 5 2023 Agriculture Trends to Watch

The agricultural industry is always growing and progressing. Growing food, fuel, and fiber look much different today than it did hundreds of years ago. Mechanization changed agriculture’s reliance on human labor and horsepower. The Green Revolution harnessed selective breeding allowing more grain to be produced per acre. And today, technology like big data and artificial intelligence is driving another wave of change to improve the way we farm.

In 2023, keep an eye out for trends in agriculture that represent familiar challenges and new technologies. With USDA agricultural projections, the adoption and implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) for furthering crop optimization, and capabilities for remote big data analysis, we’ll outline some of the biggest upcoming agroinformatics trends. Then, we’ll share how Agmatix – a cutting-edge agroinformatics company – can help make sure you’re on top of the changing industry. 

1. Feeding a Growing World 

By 2050, the Food and Agriculture Organization estimates we will need to produce 60% more food to feed a world population reaching nearly 10 billion. Even if we hit that mark, 300 million people will still be grappling with food scarcity.

Developing countries will have a growing role in the global economy and food demand. Today, countries like the Philippines and Colombia are setting records for U.S. exports. In 2023, developing countries will continue to account for most of the growth in U.S. agricultural exports. 

Global crop production and trade continue to be variable, driven by factors like technological environments and the geopolitical climate. The USDA Foreign Agriculture Service estimates that by 2023, global rice consumption will be up by 7M tons to surpass 518M tons. Due to inflation, food prices are expected to rise between 3 and 4 percent.

The US Farm Service Agency also indicated that for 2023, there would be fewer acres dedicated to corn production in the United States – a decrease of 1.2M acres. This means that there will be a greater need for farmers to produce more within the land that they have to meet the needs for ethanol, animal feed, food, and fiber production with the growing global population.

The agriculture industry has been severely impacted by extreme weather events, COVID-19 supply chain disruptions, and worldwide economic concerns, as reported by the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates in 2022. All of these factors, and more, have the potential to shift the reality of 2023 from these projected outlooks.  

2. Artificial Intelligence  

As technology adoption grows, the digital age in croplands continues to thrive! From measuring soil nutrient levels to monitoring irrigation amounts and using droney imagery to map crop fields and estimate disease presence, artificial intelligence (AI) will become a constant presence in agriculture productions of all sizes. 

According to BI Intelligence Research, global spending on smart technology and connected systems in the ag space is projected to triple in revenue by 2050. That includes AI and machine learning. AI spending alone is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 25.5% between 2020 and 2026, eventually reaching $4 billion. 

Synthetic data is often used to validate AI models. Synthetic data is based on real-world data and created by a model that uses the parameters of real-world datasets. A “digital twin” with synthetic data in a system that emulates real life can be particularly helpful in agriculture, where variables like soil types and weather conditions must be understood for real-world applications. Synthetic data is a powerful tool – so much so that Gartner predicts synthetic data will outpace real data in AI models by 2030. Synthetic data and AI will be trends that can be operationalized in agriculture in 2023 and beyond!

3. Precision Agriculture 

Precision agriculture harnesses smart, connected technology systems to improve grower outcomes. Growers can save time, money, and resources – which are all at a premium in today’s world – with tools that support crop monitoring and targeted crop nutrition plans. 2023 trends in digital agriculture will include exciting updates in the precision ag space. 

Agmatix’s Digital Crop Advisor is a data-driven decision support system that connects fields, farmers, and agronomists. Armed with seamless crop nutrition optimization plans, sustainability KPI monitoring, and data from over 150 different crops, farmers can make the best decisions for their fields and the environment. 

And in 2023, using precision agtech tools for precise fertilizer application will be more important than ever. At the start of the 2023 season, farmers will face far higher fertilizer costs. Nitrogen prices, driven by corn prices, natural gas prices, and geopolitical events, are expected to be higher than just a year earlier. Fertilizer costs have increased the most of any input in 2022. 

4. Big Data

The Internet of Things (IoT) and the copious amounts of data associated with sensors and equipment are driving forces in the agricultural revolution. While agriculture might not be what immediately comes to mind when you think of the Internet of Things (IoT), it’s a driving force in the agricultural revolution. Generally speaking, IoT represents billions of smart devices with chips and sensors that are connected to the internet. 

Smart agriculture systems that use IoT collect massive amounts of data. For example, networks of connected sensors, devices, and infrastructure create digital twins of the crop and field. This develops machine learning to further applications of technology in agriculture. 

Remote data analysis is becoming more common, too. In combination with AI, IoT-driven data analysis can provide insight into complex things like crop performance and climate patterns. Because crop performance is dependent on so many factors, data analysis can help farmers, agronomists and industry professionals better understand the impacts of technologies, production practices, or even the changing climate. 

In order to support big data in agriculture, larger compute-and-store architecture is needed for real-time data analyses. One example of this need is field trials – which create a lot of data. The potential for field trials to drive decision-making is only unlocked when the various datasets collected can be analyzed and turned into actionable insights.

Big data analytics can be the key to supporting big data in agriculture, especially in real-time. For data-driven decisions, Agmatix’s Agronomic Trial Management solution allows collected data to be standardized. This allows data to be evaluated, compared, and protected from potential loss. This powerful capability is housed within a user-friendly interface to support farmers and researchers in their analytics. 

Another aspect of big data is the databases in which data is stored. Open databases with standardized data that can be shared across different experts and stakeholders allow for maximum collaboration. Innovation and new ideas in agriculture are possible when open science is supported and researchers around the world can access high-quality data to support their work. Agmatix is leading the way in this area with the Nutrient Omission Trial Database and the Global Crop Nutrient Removal Database. 

5. Sustainability

Sustainability isn’t a new trend or topic in 2023, but it’s a safe bet that companies will double down on their efforts and they’ll need to quantify their impact on sustainability. The agriculture industry will have similar opportunities to engage in sustainability efforts with renewed vigor. 

Agmatix is committed to helping agriculture professionals improve sustainable practices in food production. Managing both crop yield and quality while addressing sustainable farming will be key. Digital Crop Advisor monitors sustainability KPIs in recommended crop nutrition and fertilization plans to estimate the carbon footprint and nitrogen leaching. This provides farmers and agronomy professionals with the information they need to choose the most sustainable crop nutrition plans. 

Along with positively impacting the environment, financial benefits of environmental sustainability also exist. 

For US producers, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service offers a variety of financial resources to support conservation and resource sustainability. Both technical assistance and financial support are available for improving air quality, conserved ground and surface water, soil health, improved or created wildlife habitat, and more. 

Carbon markets are one example of a new financial consideration for crop producers. While the U.S. carbon market is still developing, there is increasing interest in pricing carbon and evaluating offsets to drive farmer behavior. 

Agmatix Helps You Stay On Top of Trends in Agriculture 2023

Staying abreast of all the changes in the agriculture industry can be a challenge. But with pressures from a changing climate and growing population, adapting is necessary. Luckily, Agmatix has a hand in all of 2023’s major digital agriculture trends. As a single source for sustainability based on crop models and big data, Agmatix makes it easy to stay on top of agtech trends in 2023.  

As agriculture changes and trends influence priorities, quickly understanding the impact of new technologies or production practices is critical. But it’s difficult to isolate the impact of a given factor on crop yield or quality. Agmatix has solutions available to create crop models that predict plant growth and development based on crop management practices and the environment in which the crop is grown. These models can be used to assess future impacts of climate change, too!

Agmatix also connects precision ag, big data, and sustainability in the nutrient management space. With tools like Digital Crop Advisor, Agmatix makes it easy to make data-based, site-specific management and optimization decisions for over 150 different crops. And sustainability stays at the forefront with KPI monitoring. An agriculture field trial data tool has a lot of power to support profitable, sustainable decision-making. 

All of these tools are based on big data collection and agriculture data enrichment. Agmatix helps turn agronomic big data into powerful insights that can change the way we farm. Our platform ingests and harmonizes datasets – including legacy trial data. Turning that data into actionable insights is simple with statistical analysis that requires no code. And collaboration with big data is easy with standardized data through the GUARDS ontologies

Agmatix remains forward-looking when it comes to data and technology. With over 670 million data points and 53 million values of professional observation, it’s possible for Agmatix to generate synthetic data to support digital twins. Digital twins – where a computer uses real-world data to maintain statistic correlations – have enormous potential to emulate real life in agriculture. 

It would be possible to create a digital twin of a field trial to understand which variables are needed for the trial to be successful in the real world. Knowing the necessary soil type or weather conditions can drive meaningful results quickly, and at scale. Digital twins could also be used to fill in gaps in real-world datasets. Synthetic data based on statistical models can complete the picture if a remote sensor fails or equipment errors leave data missing. 

Agmatix is staying on top of agroinformatics trends by building on a foundation of big data and precision agriculture. Feeding a growing world while caring for the soil, water, and climate that sustains agriculture will be a challenge. In 2023 and beyond, Agmatix is making cutting-edge technology available to grow data for impact across the industry.