South San Francisco, CA July 27, 2020 by Clara Beaufort, Gardenergigs.com
Technology has the potential to change lives in big ways. For small farmers, adding new tech can make a difference in their distribution abilities, productivity, and even crop quality. Here are nine ways technology has changed small farm life—for the better.
The Supply Chain Has Evolved
In terms of delivering products to consumers, small farms have more opportunities than ever, thanks to technology. Of course, not everything has changed.
- Community connections can encourage local business.
- Many locals still favor farm-to-market
- Properly managing the supply chain allows small farmers to reach farther.
Digital Connection Supports Commerce
While tons of produce travels nationally (and internationally), many farms are looking closer to home for distribution. Digital platforms are proving a valuable tool for connecting with consumers.
- It’s easier than ever for consumers to find local CSAs.
- Farmers use virtual means to advertise to consumers.
- Surplus crops go to good use thanks to online associations.
Better Crops Come from Technology
Even small farmers are implementing technology like sensors and artificial intelligence. The result is better crops—and less waste.
- Live data is making it easier to monitor crops (and do so remotely).
- A combination of tech and old-fashioned tools boost productivity.
- Open-source software and technology make upgrades affordable.
While small farmers used to rely on word of mouth and weekly market deliveries, times have changed. From expanding their distribution to reaching customers in new ways, technology has made it easier and more rewarding for small farmers to hone their craft. And, the future promises even better improvements for even the smallest farms.