The farming community has seen more than its fair share of trials and tribulations in recent years. Devastating droughts and fires that have led to the destruction of acres of farming land and made ever-decreasing prices even harder to contend with are only a few.
To make matters worse farming, especially that for animal products, has seen increasing consumer distrust leading to a rise in veganism and consumers turning a blind eye to factory-farmed products. So what is the future of farming and what are consumers looking for? Here are three of the things to look out for.
Technology use is rising
Technology has played a role in farming for as long as it has been invented but increasingly we are seeing more reliance on technology to keep costs down and to increase product yields. In almond production, they use moisture sensors to ensure that almond plants only receive the exact amount of water needed. They then add fertilizer in exacting quantities to keep plants fed.
Elsewhere, smart-farming is revolutionizing dairy parlors, automating animal feeding and even detecting illnesses within chicken flocks. Regardless of the future direction that farming takes, one thing is for sure, technology will be playing a major role.
Expectations of animal welfare standards are increasing
As consumers become more aware of the origins of their food they are demanding better animal welfare standards. Social media and digital channels make it easier than ever to share the mistreatment of animals in agricultural settings. This damages the reputation of offending producers and puts pressure on farms to maintain higher welfare standards.
On the other end of the spectrum, social media has provided smaller scale, higher-welfare farms to advertise their differences, highlighting the cleanliness of their Natura Feed Ingredients and marketing their premium products to consumers in a new light.
We are more aware of waste
From farm to fork, consumers are becoming more aware of the waste that occurs. This includes discarding wonky fruit and vegetables and the number of crops left to rot in the ground. More waste occurs in the supermarkets and the amount of waste they themselves throw out from the fridge and plate.
The waste issues highlighted in farming have provided yet another way for smart producers to distinguish themselves from their competitors. They are focusing on reducing the amount of waste they produce. They are embracing nose-to-tail and root to tip eating and being more conscious of the effect that their farming production has on the environment.
The future of farming is an ever-changing landscape and for farmers to stay relevant and continue to make a profit it’s vital that they try to keep up with consumer needs and advancements in their industry. These three topics are just a handful of ways in which farming is evolving. More exciting developments are likely to happen in the industry in the months and years to come.