Understanding The Future of Technology in Agribusiness
The digital revolution is making great strides in the agriculture business, and for good reason. For one, digital technologies in agriculture have helped improve crop yields and fine-tune the food system from beginning to end.
MiniCo’s VP of Underwriting, Nathan Garrett, has some great insights on how advances in agri-tech will introduce new risks and liabilities:
AI tech is definitely a part of agriculture. Farmers are now able to utilize drones to monitor their fields, GPS-enabled tractors will plant, spray and harvest a field without driver input after the initial pass. They can monitor pivot irrigation from a laptop or cell phone.
With these tools also comes a need for the insurance industry to make sure there is proper coverage for these devices as they can be very expensive. It is important for the agent to understand what equipment the farmer is using and relay that information to the carrier to ensure proper coverage.
Read on to learn more about how agricultural companies are implementing the latest agri-tech to upgrade their business model
Autonomous Farm Tractors
Like the movie “Transformers,” vehicles are turning into beasts — and in the agriculture space, they can be considered the technological rebels of cultivation. Gone are the days when a farmer has to be in the driver’s seat for planting, plowing, and fertilizing crops.
Autonomous farm tractors have built-in sensors, GPS-enabled cameras, and an integrated computerized system. You can expect more of these smart vehicles to be navigating the fields. In fact, in the near future, the potatoes you see in the grocery store may have been cultivated by an autonomous farm tractor.
But what if the autonomous tractor wanders into someone else’s field, or worse yet, collides with a barn that was just built? Who’s held liable? These are the types of questions insurance carriers will need to address in the coming years.
The Use of AI for Assessing Environmental and Plant Conditions
More and more farmers will be using AI and machine-learning tools to assess the genetic qualities of plants and soil. By getting an in-depth look into the crops, farming will become more precise.
With this “precision farming” method, farmers can expect a decrease in crop losses related to soil, seed, and weather conditions. Better yet, this can even result in better-tasting produce!
However, there could be situations when AI miscalculates environmental conditions resulting in crop losses. How much is the industry willing to cover in liabilities relating to a faulty AI assessment? Gaps in agribusiness coverage could also result based on how much AI is involved in the food-production cycle.
Satellite Connectivity in Agribusiness
Agribusiness technology is being taken to new heights — figuratively and literally speaking. Satellites will become a core part of the agriculture business as they create geospatial maps and connect farmers with each other.
Oftentimes, farmers are located in rural areas far from one another, limiting communication and collaboration. With satellite technology, farmers will be able to gain a detailed analysis of their crops and share in-field data in real time.
With greater collaboration, it’s important to know whether or not the other farmer is insured. You can read more about the future of satellites in agribusiness HERE.
Given the skyrocketing popularity of digital tools in agriculture, agribusiness insurance is an important risk management tool. As the leaders of agribusiness insurance, we’re dedicated to providing customized solutions for insurance agents. Contact MiniCo for a quote.