It’s 2021 and technology continues to surge. Ensuring we have an up-to-date understanding of how technology continually impacts our work and lives can be difficult to consistently adapt to and maintain. It is constantly evolving to the point that each day brings a new technological advancement. In the agriculture industry, a common theme is growing profitability and yields with the assistance of technology. When you combine that cutting edge technology with agriculture, you get AgTech.

AgTech is one of the newest, fastest growing innovations within the industry. While it has been around for a few years, its ever-changing nature causes it to be one of the more difficult-to-keep-up-with advancements of the twenty-first century. While increasing the productivity of agriculture and reducing the environmental and social costs of agricultural practices, AgTech has the potential to completely transform global agriculture. The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) has developed a new program, AgTechConnect, with the goal of connecting AgTech companies with real farmers to test out the latest technologies on their acres.

What is AgTech?

This expansion in the agriculture industry is aimed at advancing agriculture both economically and technologically. Farmers have a desire to increase their profitability and technology is becoming a crucial resource to achieve that goal. From drones to autonomous tractors to gene editing, AgTech is a driving force for farmers. While it has not been at the forefront for long, its necessity is only increasing. There are companies whose entire focus is on AgTech to help farmers reach their current and future goals. Whether row crops, animal agriculture, aquaculture and beyond, an AgTech company is available to support the farmer.

Why Do We Need AgTech?

With the ever-growing population expected to reach 9.8 billion people by 2050, according to the United National Department of Economic and Social Affairs, it makes sense to be looking for ways to advance farming. Adding new, healthy soil and land may not be a choice, so working with the ground one currently has is the only option. AgTech looks to find ways to increase yield, soil health, plant and animal health, and looks to data for answers. The Illinois Soybean Association understands the importance in answering farmers’ questions.

AgTechConnect Focus

Let’s talk about AgTechConnect, a new initiative connecting AgTech companies with farmers interested in testing the latest on-farm innovations. It’s all about encouraging development and adoption of technologies to help Illinois soybean farmers improve on-farm yield, profitability and sustainability. Illinois soybean farmers are some of the most innovative producers in the country and this program is a rich resource of which to take advantage.

For more information regarding AgTechConnect, click here.

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About the Author: Jill Parrent

Jill Parrent is the Communications Coordinator for the Illinois Soybean Association. Parrent is a graduate from Iowa State University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Agricultural Communications with minors in Food and Society and Leadership Studies. Parrent has been heavily involved with professional organizations throughout her collegiate career including serving as Chair of the College of Agricultural and Life Science Ambassadors at Iowa State University, Sigma Alpha Professional Sorority, and the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. She has dedicated much of her time to the 4-H program serving on the local, state, and national levels providing guidance and knowledge to youth. She is originally from central Illinois and currently resides in Normal.