With the world’s population growing daily, the concept of smart farming has become far more than just a pipedream – it’s now an urgent requirement. But a noticeable contrast exists between the idea of smart farming and the actual implementation of it.
IoT, when applied to agriculture, is the most productive form of a technological revolution we’ll see. The use of sensors, cameras and other connected devices can turn every element and action involved in farming into data from which data engineers can pull insights about a specific farm through software algorithms. This includes data on weather conditions, plant health, crop health, moisture measurements, mineral level, chemical applications, pest presence and more.
So just how does the IoT assist in fortifying today’s agriculture?
- Smart agricultural sensors collect crucial data, from quality and fertility of soil to weather conditions, crop growth, cattle health and more. Sensor data can be used to track business status, as well as manpower performance, equipment efficiency and more.
- IoT helps better control agricultural processes. As a result, there are fewer production risks. It enables the ability to foresee production results, which helps farmers better plan and distribute product. For example, data about exact batches of crops and the quantity of crops to harvest can help farmers cut down on work and waste.
- An increased control over production will lead to better cost management and waste reduction. The ability to trace anomalies in crop growth or livestock health helps dodge risks of losing yields.
- With smart devices, multiple processes can be activated at the same time across the production cycle, including fertilization, irrigation, pest control and more. This provides heightened business efficiency through automation.
- Exercising better control over production processes and maintaining higher standards of crop quality and growth capabilities through automated services enhance product quality and volumes.
Agricultural IoT opens up new ways through which regular challenges of farmers can be put to an end. For example:
Monitor climate conditions
With smart farming sensors, unpredictable scenarios, such as weather conditions, can be understood beforehand. IoT sensors located across fields collect meaningful data from the environment and send it to the cloud for further reference. Mapping climatic conditions, investing in the appropriate crops and adapting to required measures to escalate precision farming have become realities in today’s world.
Crop management devices are IoT-driven systems that must be invested in to gain insights from real-time data. This contributes to the effective and immediate understanding of crop health. For example, gathering sensor data can provide insight into the appropriate level of water crops require.
Monitoring cattle health is crucial not only for the animals’ well-being, but also for the well-being of the humans who will consume them. Body temperature, nutrition intake, activity and more can be monitored by IoT. Plus, IoT can be used to identify cattle that accidentally get separated from their herd.
Cows often get pregnant without the owner’s knowledge. It is crucial for the farmer to know this as cows require special attention in order to stay healthy and deliver a healthy calf. Plus, some infections during pregnancy can cause the entire the cattle to suffer. IoT can help in these scenarios.
Likewise, in poultry farms, chances are high that birds will get the flu. With IoT sensors, farmers can separate sick birds from the healthy lot and continue safe, healthy farming.
End-to-end farm management system
An end-to-end farming management system is what brings together all agriculture IoT devices and sensors. It can be installed on-premises as a powerful dashboard, having analytics capabilities and built-in accounting and reporting features. Such a system is crucial to trace areas of improvement in agriculture. With an end-to-end management system, maximizing existing strengths can happen within a short time span.
Using technology to demolish hunger was never as easy as it is now; IoT in agriculture is definitely a revolution. Using IoT in the agricultural sector has simplified the lives of farmers and herders; they can now successfully collect meaningful data without a big hit to their budget.
In the 21st century, businesses, landowners and farmers must grasp the potential of agricultural IoT for better income and efficiency. Smart technologies can strengthen competitiveness and sustainability in production. With the ever-increasing population, the demand for more food and nutrition is growing. Meeting those demands with the utmost efficiency is critical — investing in agricultural IoT is a smart move.
First published in IoT Agenda