The Precision Planting Market: Rapid use of the IoT in the agriculture sector is contributing to the growth of the precision farming market.

Published Date: 14/05/2021

The precision planting market is estimated to be USD 3.6 billion in 2020 and projected to reach USD 4.6 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 5.1%. Precision Farming or Precision Agriculture is a process of identification and management of variability of any farm and variability of productivity. There are various factors such as soil, weather, water and vegetation which varies from place to place and these factors also plays very vital role in crop growth and farming success. Most of the farmers are aware of this but they lacked the tools to measure and manage these variations. Thus, it has been found in various studies that, precision farming can help to supply the equivalent amount of food to the rising world population and helps farmers to achieve a greater suitability, higher productivity, economic benefits and environmental protection. The major factor driving this market is high adoption of technologies in agriculture, need of more efficient farming, increasing government interest towards promotion of precision farming among other whereas factors such as need of technical experience along with high internment are some of the restraints of the market.

Seeding and planting are the foundation for optimal yield from a crop. Placing seeds at the correct spacing and right depth provides the ideal condition for crop germination due to the availability of sufficient resources for growth. There has been a rise in the adoption of precision planting and seeding equipment across the world to ensure uniform seed placement and control over the depth of seed placement. Advanced precision planting equipment are integrated with technologies such as GPS, VRT, guidance technologies, and sensing and monitoring devices, which provide real-time farm data for efficient farm operations and avoid overlapping of seeds and wastage of resources. With these technologies, desired planting geometry and uniform distribution and precision placement of seeds/seedlings can be achieved. Additionally, precision planting provides benefits in terms of higher yield and higher profits to the farmers with minimum resources.

A major restraining factor for the precision planting market is the high initial investment involved in owning planting and seeding equipment. Precision planting involves the use of efficient—but highly expensive—planting tools and technologies that include GPS, drones, and GIS, VRT, and satellite devices, as well as skilled personnel, which incur additional running and maintenance costs. The per acre cost of running a precision planter is more than air seeders and opener drill. Precision planting is a smart farming technique that requires technical knowledge to handle the equipment efficiently. Hence, currently, these tools and techniques are not adopted by poor farmers, particularly in developing countries such as India, China, and Brazil.

Connectivity and telematics have witnessed tremendous growth in the last couple of years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has acted as a catalyst in further accelerating its popularity among the growers across the world. The main advantage of connectivity and telematics technologies is that they can access agriculture equipment in the field remotely. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in demand for equipment integrated with smart hardware and telematics technologies as these tools allow growers to follow social distancing norms, and at the same time, decrease downtime and operational costs.

As per the John Deere Q2 2020 press release, the company has reported triple-digit growth in the adoption of connected services such as remote display access and data connectivity services. The high growth of connectivity services has come at a time when the company has reported a decline in its overall revenue and net income by 18% and 41%, respectively, for its Q2 2020, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This indicates that telematics and connected services are expected to witness robust growth in 2020 and the years ahead.

The prominent players identified in the market of precision farming are- AGCO Corporation (U.S.), Deere & Company (U.S.), AG Leader Technology (U.S.), AgEagle Aerial Systems (U.S.), Aglytix Inc. (U.S.), AgGateway (U.S.), Precision Planting (U.S.), AgJunction Inc. (U.S.), Agribotix (U.S.), Dickey-John Corporation (U.S.) among others.

North America is expected to account for the largest share of the precision planting market in 2020 owing to the presence of a substantial number of large farms and major players such as Deere & Company (US), AGCO Corporation (US), and Topcon Positioning Systems (US) in this region. These companies have contributed to the growth of the precision planting market by launching innovative products and services, and by extensively spending on the R&D of precision planting technologies. Further, countries in this region, such as the US and Canada, are the early adopters of precision planting technologies since these countries have a large number of progressive farmers with bigger farms.