Autonomous Crop Management Market to Grow at an Estimated CAGR of 17.5% During the Forecast Period 2022-2030

12 Jan 2023

The global market for autonomous crop management was valued at $1.45 billion in 2021 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 17.5% during the forecast period of 2023 to 2030. Farmers' heightened awareness of advantages such as improved crop planning and tracking, labor cost reduction, and weather forecasting is driving the industry's expansion. The expansion is also attributable to the increasing use of cloud computing for real-time crop data management and the growing global population, which has increased food demand. During the forecast period, a greater emphasis by farmers on crop yield, productivity, and farm efficiency is expected to stimulate economic growth. It is anticipated that technological developments such as cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) will promote the use of big data, artificial intelligence, and robots in agriculture. Utilizing big data analysis in autonomous crop management is crucial for providing farmers with predictive insights, reengineering business processes, and making real-time operational decisions in order to increase agricultural productivity.

With a global population growth rate of over 1 percent per year, it will be challenging to meet the food demands of all these people in the coming years. Adopting the most advanced agricultural technology is one solution to this issue. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) projects that by 2050, 70 percent of global food production will increase. To meet the rising demand for food, densely populated nations such as India and China have adopted precision agriculture. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have become more pervasive, enabling real-time data access that simplifies data management tasks such as planning, purchasing, harvesting, feeding, marketing, and inventory management. Real-time data collection in agriculture facilitates analysis and decision-making.

 The global agri-tech industry has experienced exponential growth in recent years. According to a report by Accel Partners and Omnivore, the sector's investments will skyrocket from $45.8 billion in 2015 to $430.6 billion by March of 2020. In India, the agri-tech industry has been expanding at a rate of 25% per year. This expansion is attributed by experts to increased digitization, government initiatives, and a rise in investor interest. By 2025, the agri-tech market in the United States is projected to reach $24 billion. The software enables farmers to implement environmentally friendly agricultural practices, reducing the use of water, fertilizers, and pesticides while ensuring food safety. In addition, modern agricultural practices would replace ineffective conventional agricultural methods, assisting the agriculture sector in addressing sustainability issues. This change is expected to have a positive effect on the growth of the autonomous crop management industry over the forecast period. According to a Nasscom study, India has over 450 agri-tech startups with over $248 million in funding. Notably, every ninth agri-tech startup in the world is located in India.

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With a 65% revenue share in 2021, the software segment is anticipated to maintain its dominance throughout the forecast period. Professional and managed services are used to subdivide the service segment. Maintenance & support and system integration & consulting are the two types of professional services. The crop management software enhances planning and monitoring, reduces input and labor costs, and complies with regulatory requirements. Utilizing management software enables farmers to employ the most effective and environmentally friendly agricultural practices. This modification enables farmers to produce food that is safe while consuming less water, fertilizer, and pesticides. The software aids farmers in crop rotation, soil management, harvesting, and planting at optimal times.

In 2021, 55% of the market was held by the on-premises deployment segment. During the forecast period, the segment of cloud-based autonomous crop management is anticipated to experience the highest CAGR. Cloud computing eliminates the high costs of maintaining software and hardware infrastructure by focusing on storage devices, shared networks, and servers. Cloud computing to monitor agricultural inputs and outputs can contribute to climate change. Moreover, the majority of organizations are adopting partnership strategies to enhance cloud-based applications. In 2020, for instance, Trimble partnered with Ecobot, a cloud-based software provider that expedites environmental regulatory reporting. This agreement enabled rapid, sub-meter-accurate wetland delineation by integrating the company's GNSS with Ecobot's Natural Resources Platform.

Tracking and management of crops accounted for 30% of total revenue in 2021 and is projected to maintain its dominant position throughout the forecast period. This is also due to the rising demand for crop monitoring and waste reduction through the timely delivery of essential water and minerals. Agricultural applications include crop monitoring and management, weather monitoring and forecasting, irrigation management, labor, and resource monitoring, among others. The weather tracking and forecasting segment is anticipated to grow at the highest CAGR between 2023 and 2030. Monitoring the weather can reduce costs, prevent over- and under-irrigation, and increase crop yields. Predicting the weather aids in preventing the spread of pests, crop diseases, and crop-destroying issues. The expansion of the market is attributable to the development of advanced data analytics services and machine learning techniques, which have improved the dependability and accuracy of weather forecasts. Increasing environmental consciousness among consumers and growing water scarcity have necessitated the modification of agricultural management techniques that conserve natural resources, such as soil, air, and water, in order to stimulate market expansion. In addition, the market for irrigation management is anticipated to grow substantially over the next few years.

In 2021, North America accounted for the largest revenue share, 38%, and its dominance is expected to persist in the coming years. Numerous technology companies in North America provide crop management solutions. In addition, the region has a reputation for being an early adopter of technology. Increasing government initiatives to adopt modern agricultural technologies and infrastructure development are the primary factors driving the market growth. The North America Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance (NACSAA), for instance, was established to educate and equip farmers for sustainable agricultural productivity. Additionally, the high income and purchasing power of farmers in developed countries such as the United States and Canada is a significant factor in the adoption of crop management solutions. Digital farming necessitates significant investments, which is a disadvantage for farmers, especially in developing nations such as India, China, and Brazil. Smart agriculture requires a relatively large capital investment, but it yields a substantial return on investment by boosting crop productivity and resiliency. In addition, the United States and United Arab Emirates Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM4C) program requires participating nations and businesses to make substantial investments in "climate-smart" agriculture over the next five years. In an effort to encourage new scientific discoveries, the $4 billion program will fund public and private agricultural research facilities and make them more accessible to farmers.

Asia-Pacific is anticipated to have the highest CAGR during the forecast of 2023 to 2030. Over the projected period, the region is anticipated to experience significant growth. Smart farming is in the adoption stage in the region, where government initiatives and cultivator awareness are the primary growth drivers. The Japanese agriculture ministry, for instance, has supported the development of precision agriculture. Each nation's farmer groups and community-based organizations are dedicated to advancing sustainable agriculture.

To expand their product offerings, the companies use a variety of inorganic growth strategies, such as partnerships, regular mergers, and acquisitions. CropX, a leading provider of soil and agricultural analytics, acquired CropMetrics to strengthen its position in the American market. With their extensive dealer network, service model, user-friendly platform, and Variable Rate Irrigation System, this acquisition aimed to expand CropMetrics' product offerings in key U.S. regions. Crop monitoring and dairy farm management, the market's segment leaders, account for approximately 65% of the market's share. Other technologies, such as inventory management and harvesting and picking, will account for roughly 35 percent of the market by 2021. Croptracker, Cropio, EasyFarm, Software Solutions Integrated (SSI), Agrivi, Granular, Trimble, and Raven Industries Inc. are significant players in the market for autonomous crop management.

Recent market developments include the following:

  • In April 2023, Verdant Robotics introduced a robotic spraying and weeding solution for farms that makes use of machine learning, artificial intelligence perception, and robotics technology.
  • Lely collaborated with Connector B.V. of the Netherlands in December 2021. Lely plans to use Connecterra B.V.'s advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide more information to farmers. In addition, these technologies facilitate the integration of agricultural technologies with artificial intelligence in order to create farm management systems.
  • BouMatic acquired SAC Group in October 2021, a reputable manufacturer of complete milking systems for cows, sheep, and goats. It is anticipated that this acquisition will facilitate the expansion of BouMatic's global presence and product catalog.
  • In November of 2020, Robert Bosch GmbH and BASF SE launched a joint venture for agricultural digital technologies. They devised a method for applying herbicide to weeds without spraying crop areas that were unaffected.
  • In October of 2020, AGCO Corporation announced the release of the Fendt Xaver, which incorporates an AGCO Group solution and a seed unit for precision planting. The Vario Guide Lane guidance system provides centimeter-precise robot control.
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