5 Ways Technology Is Helping Agriculture Cut Carbon Emissions

When the United Nations (UN) established the Paris Agreement in 2015, agricultural professionals began searching for emission-reduction techniques. Farmers are planning to shrink their carbon footprints while increasing production rates using sustainable technologies. Meeting global consumption demands is challenging as the population expands.

Environmental researchers are developing technological advancements, improving conservation and decreasing global hunger. There are five modern systems helping farmers enhance sustainability to meet the UN’s preservation goals. When agricultural professionals upgrade their production systems and techniques, they may effectively lower their greenhouse gas emissions.


1. Vertical Farming

The first modern system helping farmers reduce emissions is vertical farming. Vertical farmers rely on fewer resources, like fresh water and pesticides, allowing nutrients to filter down from section to section. Agricultural professionals can also use vertical farming techniques indoors to minimize transportation emissions.

Many urban regions import their food because of minimal access to green spaces. When individuals grow their fruits, vegetables, and grains indoors, they shrink production and distribution emissions. Professionals can also target direct methane emissions using reduction technologies.


2. Methane Reduction Technologies

Farmers can also cut carbon emissions using biotic tools. Environmental engineers and scientists are developing advanced agriculture management devices to monitor for and filter out methane emissions. The devices immediately detect and remove greenhouse gas emissions from local environments.

Other professionals are using the excess methane to access nutrients for livestock feed. They repurpose the emissions to support animal consumption needs, creating a closed-loop system while preserving the atmosphere. Some environmentalists are also reducing emissions by adding methane-reduction products to cattle feed.

One Dutch company developed a methane inhibitor using the 3-Nitrooxypropanol (3NOP) molecule. The supplement reduces production rates of the gas by nearly 30% in cattle. Pairing the technology with methane-capture systems can shrink agricultural footprints.


3. Plant-Based Meat

As consumers adopt eco-conscious diets, farmers can meet modern demands by developing plant-based meat alternatives. Seitan is an alternative derived from wheat. Its carbon footprint is about 130 times smaller than beef, making it significantly more sustainable.

When agricultural professionals replace livestock farming with plant-based meat production, they can lower their emissions and eliminate methane pollution. Individuals can also use drones to lower field emissions.


4. Drone Surveying

Drones support sustainable agriculture using global positioning systems (GPS) and geographic information systems (GIS) to reduce waste and transportation emissions. Before drones, individuals drove around fields, tracking the quality and growth cycles of various crops. The labor-intensive practice took a long time and released considerable carbon emissions.

The technology also supports precision farming for crops and livestock. This agricultural technique decreases food waste and water runoff, improving ecological conditions. Farmers can additionally lower production emissions by extending the shelf lives of their foods.


5. Extending Shelf Lives

Most foods have an expiration date. When individuals fail to consume their products before they spoil, they contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. Nearly 6% of emissions derive from food waste around the globe.

Agricultural professionals can shrink their carbon footprints by utilizing shelf-life-extension technologies. One California-based food-waste-reduction company developed a spray-on film for vegetables and fruits that extended their lifespan. The material helps products retain water and slows bacterial growth, minimizing pollution.

Another system for reducing food waste uses smart technology to help individuals make the most of their products’ shelf lives. The device uses the Internet of Things (IoT) to autonomously connect cameras, scales, monitors, and impact calculation systems. Cameras remain in the kitchen, helping restaurants and residents record their groceries and waste.

Scales monitor how much food individuals are using and record the findings. The system compartmentalizes the data, sending it back to producers and individuals, helping them reduce waste. After assessing the available technologies, farmers can choose a system to effectively shrink their carbon footprints.


Picking the Best Emission-Reduction Systems

Farmers can ensure the efficiency of their emission-reduction techniques by evaluating the market and available resources. In time, producers and distributors may be able to transition entirely from livestock farming to alternative meat development, vertical farming, or other new techniques. Technology can make all the difference when it comes to feeding a fast-growing population without undue negative influence on the natural environment.


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