Digitisation in agriculture

Digitisation in agriculture
Photo: BML / Martina Siebenhandl

For some it is already everyday life, for others new ground: digitisation in agriculture. New technologies offer a great variety of opportunities for animal husbandry, arable farming and grassland farming, but they entail also challenges and risks.

Many fields of agriculture have already been infused with digitisation. A major part of administration, accounting and applications for subsidies already takes place digitally on most farms. Moreover, there is a great number of new technologies, which are already applied on some farms, but are still absolute new ground for many farmers. Autonomous tools and most modern sensor technology promise work relief, however, they partly also cause discomfort.


The term “digitisation” means in the original sense the conversion of analogous information into digital data. What is omnipresent, at least to some of us - is the conversion of analogous media, i.e. photos, disc recordings or films into digital formats. However, “digitisation” in a broader sense stands also for digital transformation and/or digital change. This means a process of change, which is based on new digital technologies and affects the society as a whole. Thus, for example smart phones and social media have fundamentally changed the way in which we are communicating. Also in the field of agriculture the digital transformation leads to far-reaching changes.

Digitisation in agriculture is not an end in itself. New technologies can make agriculture more efficient, enable better decisions, make a contribution to sustainable production - and still offer a wide variety of other opportunities. However, as it is mostly the case with new technologies, digitisation in agriculture also entails challenges and risks at the same time. For example, clear legal framework conditions are required, more appropriate offers of further training, and the systems must be simplified and made more compatible with each other.

The technological development is proceeding speedily. Digital systems are already being applied in arable farming and grassland farming, but also in animal husbandry. Besides other fields of activity such as operational management and merchandise management, are also influenced very much by digitisation and it influences also ecology and regional development. The Ministry of Agriculture supports and shapes the developments with offers, research and subsidies.