Story sponsored by PixelForce.
Throughout history, humans have found ways to overcome significant obstacles with innovative solutions that simultaneously solve an immediate problem and improve the standard of living. Occasionally these innovations completely revolutionise the way we live.
One such problem that humans managed to solve with a truly unique solution was the procurement of food through primitive herding and crop growing practices that would eventually form the basis for modern agriculture.
The advent of agriculture enabled people to a reliable and ongoing source of readily available food while significantly reducing the amount of effort that hunter-gatherers had to expend.
The societal and economic changes that came about as a result were significant, and today our livelihood and much of the economy is dependent on agriculture.
So much so in fact, that over 60 per cent of the earth's population of more than seven billion people is dependent on agriculture.
As that figure continues to steadily grow, farmers around the globe must find ways to address issues of land and resource availability for crops, and an ageing workforce that is struggling with recruitment of new workers in many advanced countries.
The average farmer in Australia is now aged in their mid-50s, over a decade older than the median employee age of 40 in other industries. Paired with the lack of new recruits that many Australian farmers face, the industry faces a serious problem that is likely to get worse in coming years.
The shortage of labourers in the industry is expected to worsen over the next few years as young people continue to move to urban centres in pursuit of other opportunities.
From balancing the nutrient inputs and outputs of a farming system, to operating and maintaining equipment, to managing the budget and employees, many agricultural practices are currently manual, with farmers and labourers working long days all year round to keep on top of every aspect of their business.
Faced by increasing living costs and a need to manage not only resources and finances, but now also the carbon footprint of farming systems, some farmers are also finding it to be a bit of a logistical nightmare.
Running a farm of any kind is not just a job, but a highly complex lifestyle that offers almost no down-time, and little incentive for recruitment in a generation looking to experience more.
Could agile technology solve some of the problems faced by rural and agricultural businesses? And could it help to attract new workers?
One app development agency in South Australia believes automation of systems and services can change the lives of solo and small business owners in rural and remote areas for the better.
PixelForce, based in Adelaide, has a history of working alongside local Australian businesses to create digital solutions for complex problems in a variety of industries around the country.
While the team have been making a name for themselves in the fitness and education industries, they believe that there is a lot of potential for innovation in agriculture through mobile technology.
A few years ago it might have been okay to have a small team running everything, but the reality is that almost every tool, vehicle, and system is becoming much more complex as farmers try to maximise their return.
Mobile and web applications designed for a specific purpose can alleviate a lot of pain for business owners by addressing key pain points.
In the context of farming, dashboards can offer a quick and informative overview of business or crop performance at a glance. Push notifications can alert a farm owner about updates to commodity prices, weather, or resource and financial targets.
In recent years, parts of the industry have already been making attempts to attract a young and highly skilled workforce of graduates into remote areas through the use of advanced machinery and robots, including crop protection drones and automated sensors.
When done right, mobile technology allows a workforce to be more flexible and provides greater control over workflow and information management.
Among the immediate benefits of mobile technology offering greater efficiency in managing resources and scheduling, mobile technology could offer a better work-life balance.
Timed sprinklers, cropping and cattle feeding machinery, and other farming systems already provide increased reliability and precision compared to traditional methods of farming. In the future we may see that mobile technology will have the same impact on alleviating the struggles of an overworked industry.
Get in touch with PixelForce for a free half hour consultation via www.pixelforce.com.au to discuss if your business could benefit from a mobile app.
Story sponsored by PixelForce.