IoT In Agriculture: Why It Is Future Of Connected Farming World
Agriculture is a field, where modern technologies can be applied efficiently. Although, the farming sector may seem something archaic for many people. Anyway, a smart farming conception is not a sci-fi one, it is a real working approach that simplifies agricultural processes and makes them automated. But let’s get to the point and discuss everything more substantively.
More about smart farming
In fact, smart farming can be divided into two conception — smart agriculture and AgriTech. AgriTech is a software that is created for the improvement of some farming processes. Smart agriculture is referred to the application of the Internet of Things, utilization of various devices connected to each other. The popularity of IoT devices for agriculture is displayed on a picture below:
IoT sensors installed on a certain distance from each other allow farmers to monitor everything from crops cultivation to cattle breeding. It helps farmers optimize agricultural processes and do their business more efficiently.
Advantages of IoT in the agricultural sector
Let’s check out the main benefits of IoT in farming.
All data can be collected with the help of installed sensors. Such data like weather condition, health condition of cattle, crops, etc. Data is stored in one place, and farmers can easily check it and analyze to make the right decision.
Reduction Of Risks
When farmers up-to-date information collected, they can understand what situation will be in the future, and they can predict some problems that may arise. Moreover, farmers may use data to improve their sales and change business processes.
Business Goes Automated
Many business processes become automated and their efficiency is growing. Thus, farmers may pay attention to other important processes.
Smart agriculture makes it possible to avoid challenges and remove all issues that may arise during farming processes. So the quality of the product is growing and consumers get a good product of high quality.
How IoT can be used in agriculture
Having listed the main advantages of IoT, now we can check in details how IoT is used in farming.
Sensors and wearables make it possible for farmers to check the condition of livestock and get access to all data. Farmers may see the location of cows, hen, goats, and so on, monitor their health. It helps farmers predict diseases and isolate an animal from other brethren to avoid a breakout.
In addition, farmers may reduce costs on human labour since they always know everything about their livestock and they don’t need to send employees to check them. For example, Cowlar is a provider of advanced cow monitoring systems which collect information like health, temperature, activity and so on using collars and then send it to a server.
Monitoring climate conditions
Weather stations equipped with smart sensors can collect weather data and send useful information to a farmer. Moreover, first, the information is analyzed by special software and farmer gets ready-made analysis that helps him have a detailed forecast and avoid crop losses.
As an example, allMETEO is IoT-based agricultural project that offers farmers special software and equipment for monitoring weather condition.
An installed system with multiple sensors monitor conditions and parameters in a greenhouse and automatically adjust equipment to provide the most appropriate condition for each greenhouse.
Example — Growlink project uses AI with machine learning, computer vision, sensor data to monitor the condition of crop in a greenhouse and automate related processes.
As in the case of weather condition monitoring, sensors for crop monitoring also collect all information like crop health, humidity, precipitation, temperature, and other parameters.
If there are any deviations, farmers may identify them beforehand and take appropriate actions. Also, sensors help farmers determine when the best moment to plant crops and harvest them.
Semios, one of the most popular IoT projects for monitoring crops, provides farmers with remote control of climate, insect and disease monitoring.
Farm Management Systems
Such systems are required to collect all information together and manage it efficiently. Also, such systems have reporting, analytical and accounting features, so it is a must-have for farmers.
FarmLogs system offers all the necessary features for analyzing the whole situation on the farm and monitoring business process, making reports and help draw up accounting.
Drones may be very useful for agriculture since they can sprinkle various pesticides or simply stream video to let farmer see what is going on in a real-time mode.
What you should take into account before integration IoT for farming
In order to avoid mistakes, you should think through a few necessary points to make sure that IoT for your farm will be really useful.
First, you need to determine why you need IoT, what parameters you need to monitor. It is necessary because it will help you make the right decision concerning IoT equipment and software, you will exactly what you need. If you need to monitor livestock condition, you should buy a specific IoT equipment, in case of crop monitoring equipment will be different.
To adjust appropriate data transfer, you need to know the distance since depending on it various technologies can be used.
If the distance is short, NFC(near-field communication) or RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology may be applied. In some cases, BLE (Bluetooth Low-Energy) can be an option as well. If the distance is long, LPWAN (low-power wide-area network) technology will be your choice.
Ways to power equipment
Keep in mind that IoT equipment may be located rather far from you, and it needs a power source. So you need to think about it, how you will provide power to this equipment. So, install solar panels or powerful batteries, everything depends on specific requirements.
Data collection frequency
Determine how often you need to receive information. It is unlikely you need to see the health condition of livestock every second, so mind to adjust it as you need.
That is how IoT revolutionizes the farming sector and allows farmers to improve their business and make many processes automated. To implement this, you just need to find a reliable provider, and you will succeed!