Now connected technologies have infiltrated every part of our lives, from health and wellbeing, home automation, and automotive to logistics to clever cities and industrial IoT, with the increasing adoption of smart agriculture using IoT.
It is therefore only natural for the IoT, linked devices, and automation to find their use in agriculture, thus enhancing almost every part of them tremendously. How do you trust horses and ploughs if cars and virtuality are no longer a dream of sci-philosophy, but a regular incident?
Agriculture in recent decades has undergone a variety of transformations in technology and is being produced and powered by technology. With the use of various intelligent agricultural machinery, farmers have acquired better control over animal husbandry and crops operation, making it more predictable and effective.
This has helped to increase smart agricultural technology worldwide, along with increasing market demand for agricultural produce. In 2020, IoT’s agricultural market share stood at $5.6 billion.
In this essay we will discuss and examine the advantages of IoT uses cases in agriculture. So if you’re looking to invest in smart agriculture or want to develop an IoT solution, dive in.
What is smart agriculture?
Modern agriculture has many ways of relating to it. AgriTech applies, for instance, to the use of technology in agriculture in general.
On the other hand, smart agriculture is often used to describe the use in agriculture of IoT solutions. So what is the use of smart farming using IoT? Farmers can make better decisions by using IoT sensors to capture environmental and computer measurements and enhance just about every part of their work, from livestock to crop farming.
For example, farmers can define precisely how many pesticides and fertilizers they have to use to achieve maximum productivity by using smart farming sensors to track the condition of crops. The same refers to the concept of smart farming.
- Technologies for sensing, including soil scanning, water, light, moisture, temperature management;
- Computer applications: dedicated software systems targeting particular types of farms;
- Technologies for communication, such as cellular communication,
- Technologies for positioning, like GPS;
- Hardware and software systems which allow solutions, robotics, and automation based on IoT; and
- Data analytics, which underlies the processes of decision making and prediction.
How IoT is shaping agriculture?
In certain ways, innovations and IoT have the ability to change agriculture. In specific, there are five ways in which the IoT will boost agriculture:
- Data, loads of data gathered by smart farming sensors, e.g. environmental patterns, soil quality, improvement in crop growth, or the health of livestock with smart agriculture system. This knowledge will be used to track the condition of the organization in general, as well as the success of personnel, the quality of facilities, etc.
- More control of internal procedures and as a consequence, lower risks to production. The ability to predict the success of your development helps you to prepare for better delivery of the commodity. You will make sure the commodity won’t lay around unsold if you know precisely how many crops you’re going to harvest.
- Cost savings and elimination of waste, due to improved quality control. You would be able to mitigate the chances of sacrificing your yield by being able to see any irregularities in crop production or livestock health.
- Increased market productivity by the integration of procedures. You can automate several processes through the development chain, such as irrigation, fertilization, or management of pests, by using smart devices.
- Service consistency and volumes improved. Achieve greater control over the production process and through automation, achieve higher levels of crop quality and growth potential. As a consequence, both of these variables will contribute to higher sales ultimately.
Now that we have outlined how IoT applications in agriculture can be implemented favorably in the field of agriculture, let’s take a look at how the benefits mentioned can be applied in real life.
Helps in monitoring the climate conditions
Weather stations, which combine different smart farming sensors, are possibly the most common smart farming gadgets. They collect different environmental data found around the field and send it to the cloud. The measurements given can be used to map climatic conditions, select the appropriate crops, and take the necessary steps to improve their capacity (i.e. precision farming).
Automation of greenhouse
Farmers usually use manual intervention to monitor the atmosphere in the greenhouse. Using IoT sensors helps them to obtain accurate information about greenhouse conditions such as lighting, temperature, soil condition, and humidity in real-time.
Weather stations will change the conditions automatically to fit the given parameters, in addition to sourcing environmental data. Greenhouse automation systems specifically use a similar concept.
Farm app and Growlink, for example, are both IoT agriculture apps that provide such capabilities, among others.
GreenIQ is also an interesting product that utilizes smart sensors for agriculture. It is a smart controller for sprinklers that lets you remotely monitor your irrigation and lighting systems.
Precision farming is an umbrella term for approaches based on IoT that make farming more regulated and precise. Plants and cattle get exactly the care they need, calculated with great precision, in clear words.
Farmers may improve the effectiveness of pesticides and fertilizers, or use them selectively, by accurately measuring variations within a region. Be it plants or animals smart farming benefits all.
In addition, large farm owners can track the location, well-being, and health of their cattle using wireless IoT applications. They can recognize sick animals with this knowledge so that they can be isolated from the herd and avoid the spread of disease.
There are several smart farming techniques that help the herds to enjoy a great lifestyle in a clean and maintained environment.
The environmental parameters are regulated by traditional greenhouses through manual intervention or a proportional control mechanism that often results in loss of output, energy loss, and increased labor costs.
And IoT-driven smart greenhouse sensors and climate control intelligently, removing the need for manual intervention. To do so, various sensors are used that calculate the environmental parameters according to the plant requirement and store it in a cloud with minimal manual intervention for further processing and control.