The future of IoT and agriculture: Designing smart agriculture technologies
Due to the coming wave of new Internet of Things (IoT) technology and its’ ability to improve the lives of both businesses and consumers alike, many are expecting quite high improvements and revenue from the implementation of these technologies in the agricultural and farming sector.
Smart agriculture technologies allow farmers to significantly reduce the cost of many items of expenditure, starting from fertilisers and finishing by fuel or vehicles repair.
Further on, smart agriculture technologies will improve farm productivity by providing a detailed analysis of every aspect of a farm’s work. This detailed analysis can be generated using a system of various sensors.
Specialised sensors allow real-time monitoring of critical environmental parameters and timely adjustments to ongoing work in agriculture:
All data received from such sensors can be transmitted to a single analytical system. Using the analytics information, a farmer can carry out ground preparations, planting and harvesting activities strictly at the optimum time.
The ownership and control of this data are, of course, really valuable.
For example, due to wireless soil hygrometers, significant savings in water could be achieved. They allow to determine the level of moisture in real time and tell the farmer when to turn watering on and off. Such systems can also estimate long-term irrigation strategy, focusing on a weather forecast, soil and crops state and other agricultural data.
Perhaps we should also single out new opportunities for pest control. There are special wireless sensor networks, which determine the number of pests in a field. If their number is too high, the system activates spraying with pesticides in precisely those areas where it is needed. We can also cite as an example the IoT Box Systems solutions that allow catching rodents. Such devices may significantly improve the safety of stocks.
Introducing the concept of “smart farm” will allow improving such business aspects as:
- Logistics and warehousing;
- Equipment monitoring;
- Stock management;
- Quality control.
The complete “smart farm” management Infrastructure in the field of agriculture includes a set of sensors, remote controls equipment, means of analytics and databases:
- Farm management platforms that combine the system of agricultural machinery and irrigation systems (local sensors, irrigation components, irrigation applications);
- Meteorological data processing systems (rain, humidity and temperature sensors, weather reports);
- System of seeds preparation (various databases);
- Other solutions for agriculture.
Thus, the connection of agricultural machinery and working processes to the Internet of things will allow combining information from sensors with other data to extract valuable insights that will both increase productivity and save farmers’ time and money.