The smart farming revolution - how technology will change farmers' lives
Another agricultural transformation is about to unfold and it will be driven by data, drones and automated machinery
'I'm about to calve. Can you please bring me into the shed?" - This is a standard text message farmers will receive from cows in just seven years' time, a leading computer scientist has claimed.
As the age of 'smart farming' advances, Dr Peter Mooney, senior research fellow at the Department of Computer Science at Maynooth University, says farmers need to "open their minds" to open-source farming.
From email alerts that a heifer has drifted from the herd, or that a calf is struggling with an abnormal cough in the middle of the night, to driverless tractors applying manure in a specific way, Mr Mooney says the dawn of the next agricultural revolution is upon us.
"The first agricultural revolution was when man stopped being a hunter-gatherer and tried to investigate animals and make crops.
"The second was during the industrial revolution, when people started building seed machines and ploughs. The third came in the 1980s with precision farming, massive machinery and the introduction of genetically modified organisms. Now it's time for smart farming," said Mr Mooney.
But what about cost? Shortfalls in rural broadband? Loss of the social side to farming?
Looking to United States, Australia, China, the Netherlands and Spain, Mr Mooney, says the changes are inevitable, particularly for the next generation of farmers.
"A smart farm is about getting more value out of the resources through information technology, mobile phones, apps and the internet.