The global precision farming/agriculture market size was valued at USD 3.06 billion in 2016, owing to the growing awareness regarding Internet of Things (IoT) devices and advanced analytics among farmers. Rising trend of maximizing agricultural resources in a sustainable manner is influencing the market growth over the forecast period.
Technologies are increasingly being developed and applied on farms to maintain sustainability in farm production. However, the adoption of these technologies with the aim of achieving sustainability involves uncertainty and trade-offs. The factors that are facilitating the adoption of sustainable farming technologies include better education and training of farmers, sharing of information, easy availability of financial resources, and increasing consumer demand for organic food.
Digital farming technology includes cloud-based software tools and smart technologies such as hybrid software/hardware products. These smart products communicate with other connected devices wirelessly. Farmers are increasingly adopting such technologies to stay ahead in the competitive marketplace.
The latest sensing devices measure radiation, light, and heat by capturing different wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. The emergence of Geographical Information System (GIS), agricultural Global Positioning System (GPS) systems, electronics miniaturization, and the emergence of drones have made remote sensing technology affordable in the agriculture industry. The images captured using remote sensing technology can be used for the classification of crop species, mapping of soil properties and crop yield, detection of crop water stress, and monitoring of weeds and crop diseases.
IoT-based approaches lead to lower risks and improved productivity for cultivators. Through such approaches, the data collection process is completely automated, thus reducing the cost of labor. With the growing population and climate change, farms of all sizes are facing challenges to increase the crop yield. Such challenges can be addressed using IoT sensors such as field sensors. Field sensors encompass soil moisture, thermal, nutrition, and growth monitoring, as well as weed detection.
Based on the offering, the industry is segmented into hardware, software, and services. The hardware segment dominated the market in terms of revenue in 2016 and is expected to remain dominant over the forecast period. The hardware segment was valued at USD 2.21 billion in 2016.
The hardware segment is further bifurcated into automation & control systems, sensing devices, and antennas & access points. The automation & control systems are further segmented into drones, application control devices, guidance systems, remote sensing, driverless tractors, mobile devices, Variable Rate Technology (VRT), and wireless modules. The sensing devices segment is further classified into soil sensor, water sensors, and climate sensors.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones are aerial vehicles that can be remotely controlled through software control flight plans with embedded systems working on the basis GPS. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is the measurement of live vegetation in an area. Drone imaging is used to generate NDVI values that are generally used for agricultural assessment.
Driverless tractors are a form of autonomous technology, which use tractor GPS and other wireless technologies to farm the land. Driverless tractors have two types, namely, supervised autonomy and full autonomous technology. The equipment, technology, and methods that support precision agriculture using GPS include auto-steer, lightbar guidance, real-time kinematic, and wide area augmentation systems, among others.
The sensing devices segment includes various sensors such as soil sensor, water sensors, and climate sensors to collect data for the evaluation of soil and crop health. This helps farmers to prevent the wastage of resources and ensures that the soil has the right additives for optimum health, while also preventing the environmental impact of farms.
VRT is a form of spreader, seeder, planter, and sprayer technology. This technology helps farmers to determine areas that need more pesticides and seeds, and thereby distribute them equally across the field. There are two types of VRTs, namely, sensor-based and map-based.
Some of the applications of VRTs include nitrogen Variable Rate Application (VRA), phosphorous VRA, lime VRA, seeding VRA, and pesticide VRA, among others. The adoption of nitrogen VRA management among cultivators is low, despite the potential environmental benefits of this practice. Nitrogen fertilizers are used for crops such as corn and sunflower that grow in acidic soil. Since these crops pull out nitrogen from the soil, the addition of nitrogen fertilizer prevents soil depletion. Companies such as Ag Leader Technology offers OptRx Crop Sensor to monitor nitrogen fertilizer during cultivation.
The software segment is anticipated to witness a high growth rate at a CAGR of 17.6% over the forecast period. The predictive analytics software is used to provide guidance to farmers about crop rotation, soil management, optimal planting times, and harvesting times. The software segment includes a detailed analysis of web-based and cloud-based precision agriculture.
Precision farming is evolving into a service-based subscription model that generate a large of amount of recurring revenues for the industry players. The software-based companies are relying on machine-to-machine communication, cloud-based infrastructure, and its associated solution based on the data collected.
Based on application, the industry is segmented into field mapping, yield monitoring, crop scouting, irrigation management, inventory management, weather tracking & forecasting, and farm labor management. The weather tracking & forecasting segment is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 20.5%.
Yield monitoring helps the farmers to take decisions about their fields. Yield monitoring has been further bifurcated the yield monitoring application into on-farm and off-farm yield monitoring. On-farm yield monitoring includes real-time information during harvest and the creation of a historical spatial database. Off-farm yield monitoring offers equitable landlord negotiations, documentation of environmental compliance, and track records for food safety.
Crop scouting is the process of assessing crop performance and pest infestations and disease. Scouting also helps determine the potential effectiveness of interventions of pest and disease control.
The impact of climate change is manifest in the variability of rainfall patterns. Real-time access to rainfall information helps farmers to increase their productivity and avoid post-harvest losses. The introduction of machine learning techniques and advanced data analytics services have increased the reliability and accuracy of weather forecasts.
The irrigation management application is expected to witness considerable growth over the projected period. Sensors make irrigation smart as they help estimate the right amount of irrigation water. Smart irrigation involves the use of various technologies namely, rain sensor, weather-based controller, sensor-based controller, and water meter, among others. The growing adoption of irrigation drones is likely to influence the growth of the smart irrigation technology.
The North American regional segment dominated the market in terms of revenue in 2016. The introduction of modern agricultural technology requires government assistance as the agricultural sector is largely comprised of poor self-sustaining farmers. The implementation of modern technologies requires good infrastructure, appropriate cultural background, equipment that is not capital-intensive, and installation support services.
To succeed, governments need to create programs that will ensure successful implementation. They must also include training, design, and maintenance, as well as an effective administrative framework that connects the government, micro-irrigation companies, farmers, and banks.
In November 2016, the Canadian government invested USD 425,000 in Clean Seed Capital Group. to enhance and commercialize precision agriculture technology. The goal of this investment was to reduce the excess usage of fertilizers and pesticides. Furthermore, with the help of those funds, the company developed CX-6 SMART Seeder for farmers.
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, conducts geospatial, sensor, and precision technologies programs to create awareness among farmers. In partnership with Land-Grand universities, NIFA helps farmers in developing robust sensors, associated software, and instrumentation for modeling, observing, and analyzing a wide range of complex biological materials and processes.
Some of the major industry players include Ag Leader Technology (U.S.), AgJunction, Inc. (U.S.), CropMetrics LLC (U.S.), Trimble, Inc. (U.S.), AGCO Corporation (U.S.), and Raven Industries, Inc. (U.S.) among others. New entrants can take advantage of technological innovations. Technologies are often acquired by major players in the industry, which allows innovations to reach other companies as well.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2014 - 2016
2017 - 2025
Revenue in USD Million & CAGR from 2017 to 2025
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and MEA
U.S., Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany, France, Russia, Japan, China, India, Australia, and Brazil
Revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
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This report forecasts revenue growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global precision farming market report based on offering, application, and region:
Offering Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)
Automation & control systems
Application control devices
System integration & consulting
Maintenance & support
Farm operation services
Assisted professional services
Supply chain management services
Climate information services
Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)
Weather tracking & forecasting
Farm labor management
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)
Middle East and Africa (MEA)
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