More news from my keynote for Potato Expo 2015 …. this time from The Packer magazine, one of the leading agricultural publications with a focus on — everything packaging! Except the article goes beyond packaging into many of the other things I talked about, including genomics, autonomous vehicles, vertical farms and more!
ORLANDO, Fla. — Intelligent packaging for produce will become one of the most important trends in the industry in the next five years, agricultural futurist Jim Carroll said at the closing session of Potato Expo 2015.
The expression “Internet of things” refers to the fact that everything that is part of our daily lives will be plugged into the Web, and Carroll said that trend also applies to packaging.
“What is happening is that packaging is becoming part of the product,” he said at the Jan. 9 event.
For some pharmaceutical companies, the packing monitors whether the patient is taking the medicine and monitors whether it is working, he said.
Carroll predicted there will be packaging for potatoes that will monitor the health of the potato while it is transit, constantly monitoring and perhaps reporting that data to consumers.
In his presentation called “Big Trends in Agriculture: What Ag will look like in 2045,” Carroll said it is likely that driverless, autonomous tractor use will be commonplace in decades to come. Automated spraying and harvest technology also will be used, he said.
“We will see staggering rates of change with autonomous vehicle technology,” he said.
By 2045, he said changes in farming also will include a dramatic expansion of vertical, indoor farming methods as global cities become larger and urbanization increases. One acre of indoor farming can match the yields of four to six acres grown outside, he said.
Automated robots that monitor crop stress, disease, weeds, pests and soil status will become commonplace. Geospatial analysis will allow farmers to know exactly what nutrients and other inputs they need to apply on a specific acre.
The cost of to sequence DNA in crops is declining, he said, and that will lead to rapid advances in crop breeding. Carroll said the cost of sequencing human DNA has dropped from about $3 billion in 2009 to about $1,000 in 2015, he said.
“The cost to come up with perfect produce is collapsing,” he said. “We can’t deny that science will accelerate faster into the future.”
Already, Dupont can adjust the genetics of genetically modified corn to account for climate differences between western Iowa and eastern Iowa, he said.
In closing remarks, Carroll said urged growers to be bold and daring in how they adapt technology for their farms.
You can read the original article over at The Packer Web site.