Application of Augmented Reality in Agriculture Helping Educate Farmers about Livestock Monitoring

23 Nov 2022

The world's population is rapidly growing, and it is anticipated that this trend will continue. The population is projected to reach 10 billion by 2050. As the population increases, there will be an increased demand for resources, particularly food, and the farmers will need to produce twice as much food as they do now.  Currently, modern agriculture technologies are the best probable solution that can assist farmers in meeting their needs for food and can make this achievable.

Evidently, the advent of technologies such as augmented reality in agriculture applications and virtual reality (VR) in agriculture-based research are improving precision livestock and crop production by boosting productivity while reducing administrative expenses. 

The reason why augmented reality (AR) is gaining such significance in the agriculture industry is that the use of 3D assets or projected data insights enhances the physical world, which means the user's interaction with the corporeal environment is not hindered but rather improved through an extension of reality. For instance, AR can offer a way-finding procedure to assist farmers with customarily time-consuming soil survey processes. 

Moreover, profits are also obtained by overlaying simulations of crop growth models and by projecting data onto actual objects for real-time decision assistance, such as the identification of pests or disease species.

Therefore, driven by various factors such as increasing demand for food, increasing population, the trend of digitalization in the industry (Industry 4.0) and agriculture (Agriculture 4.0), the need for simulated training, and precise field monitoring, the global augmented reality in agriculture market is expected to grow significantly. 

According to the BIS Research report, the global augmented reality in agriculture market was valued at $0.84 million in 2021 and is projected to reach $4.89 million by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 34.49% during the forecast period 2022-2027. 

Apart from precision agriculture, AR and VR technologies also play a significant role in livestock management. In terms of livestock management, sensors and data services are used to produce and maintain animals in accordance with precision farming principles. In this context, precision livestock farming refers to the application of technology that allows for real-time animal monitoring. 

The development of augmented reality in agriculture and livestock management applications is in the emerging phase. Various established organizations and start-ups in the agriculture industry are experimenting with the technology for different purposes. One such example is discussed further in the article. 

Developing an Immersive Learning Experience with Augmented Reality in Agriculture

The red meat and livestock industries in Australia generate revenues of more than $18 billion annually or roughly contribute 1.4% to the country's gross domestic product (GDP), and they, directly and indirectly, work for close to 500,000 people.

"An outbreak of a disease like foot and mouth would be terrible for our producers," says Emily Mellor, who oversees the Department of Primary Industries and Regions, South Australia's Red Meat and Wool Growth Program (PIRSA). She further adds, "Our export markets would immediately be closed to us, and the home market would be severely impacted." 

Hence, to develop a more captivating tool for farmers, PIRSA collaborated with the immersive technology expert Think Digital and Animal Health Australia, which is financed by the Australian government.

Think Digital began creating the Sheep Emergency Animal Disease AR Tool in October 2021. Farmers can use a Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality headset, a smartphone, or a tablet to observe a small flock of 3D digital sheep. The instructional tool accurately displays the outward signs of emergency animal diseases, including foot and mouth disease. 

Farmers first identify the sheep they believe to be ill, then they determine the signs of the illness, such as lameness and foot and mouth sores. To assist them, the tool provides feedback and pop-up hints.

According to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, a widespread outbreak would result in economic losses of about $80 billion over the course of ten years, including ripple effects through the agricultural supply chain, as well as on farming communities, hospitality, and tourism.

Emergency animal diseases, or those that could have serious effects on socioeconomics, health, or the environment, were typically explained to primary producers using static images and textbook explanations in brochures or presentations. 

Since the completion of the AR tool in June 2022, the farming and agricultural education groups have praised it highly.

"With the help of augmented reality technology, we were able to allow producers to watch the virtual flock of sheep in their yards, paddocks, homes, and even places of business! They could even stroll among the herd as if they were looking at actual sheep. Compared to merely looking at photographs, it is significantly superior”, says Mellor. She further adds, “This allowed us to truly appreciate how thoroughly producers needed to examine their sheep in order to spot these indications.”

When PIRSA presented the AR tool to Urrbrae Agricultural High School in Adelaide, they had positive feedback about using it as a teaching tool. Schools and first-tier manufacturers from all over Australia and abroad have downloaded the tool, according to Mellor.

All users of the software on a HoloLens headset have been impressed by its features and usability, including farmers, teachers, and government ministers.


It is apparent that AR is showing promise for improving the management of both crops and livestock in a precision farming environment. Augmented reality offers vast possibilities for various end users, including gaming, manufacturing, healthcare, and others. 

However, its applications in the agriculture sector are not yet fully realized. Thus, the augmented reality in agriculture market is currently at an emerging stage. Although, it has huge potential in terms of growth and diversification.

Interested to know more about the growing technologies in your industry vertical? Get the latest market studies and insights from BIS Research. Connect with us at  [email protected] to learn and understand more


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