These days Internet of Things-connected devices impact pretty much every aspect of our life health and fitness, automotive and logistics, smart homes, smart cities, and industrial IoT. Farming and agriculture have seen many technological transformations in the last decades, becoming more industrialized and technology-driven. In this way have we seen IoT, connected devices, and automation finds applications in the modern world of farming and agriculture.
By using smart agricultural technology, farmers have gained better control over the process of rearing livestock and growing crops, bringing about massive efficiencies of scale, cutting costs, and helping to save scarce resources such as water. The adoption of IoT solutions for agriculture is constantly growing and the global smart agriculture market size is also expanding rapidly. With all of this in mind, in what way(s) can technologies such as IoT transform or improve agriculture?
By maintaining control over the internal processes you decrease production risks. The ability to foresee the output of your production allows you to plan for better product distribution. If you know exactly how much crop you are going to harvest, you can make sure your product doesn't lie around unsold.
With the enhanced control over production, waste levels can be reduced and costs can be more effectively managed. Insight into any anomalies in the rate of crop growth or health of livestock allows you to mitigate the risk of a diminished yield or even complete crop failure.
Very Big Data
Data collected by smart sensors can track things such as weather conditions, soil quality, crop's growth progress, or even cattle's health. This data can be used to track the state of the operation in general as well as other factors such as staff performance and equipment efficiency.
Improving the Quality
An effective IoT solution allows you to achieve better control over the production process and to maintain higher standards of crop quality and growth capacity through automation. As a result, you can eventually expect higher revenues. One specific type of IoT product that allows for precision farming is crop management devices. Similar to weather stations, they can be placed in the field to collect data specific to crop farming. Factors that can be tracked include temperature, precipitation, leaf water potential, and overall crop health. By monitoring crop growth, and any anomalies, it is possible to effectively prevent diseases or infestations that can harm crop yield.
Efficiencies of Scale
These are brought about via process automation. By using smart devices, you can automate multiple processes right across the production cycle (e.g., irrigation, pest control, or fertilization). Weather stations are very popular smart agriculture gadgets which combine various smart farming sensors. Located all over a farm, they collect various data from the environment and send it to the cloud. The provided measurements can be used to map the climate conditions, choose the appropriate crops, and take the required measures to improve their capacity.
The farm is now able to optimize costs, labor usage and yields and quality in the following manner.
Labor: There is no need to have a dedicated person running about in charge of data logging. This person can now be more gainfully employed elsewhere on the farm.
Electricity: The money will be saved due to more accurate irrigation and less electricity being used.
Water: Irrigation is more accurately managed, meaning overall savings in water consumption by the farm.
Less stress: Robert's Macadamia trees are less likely to be stressed, due to informed and timely decisions regarding bespoke orchard-by-orchard irrigation needs
Better Yields: Non-stressed "happy trees" mean better yields and higher quality Macadamia nuts.
This real-life adoption of an IoT solution perfectly illustrates the expansion of global smart agriculture into remote areas and highlights the benefits that can be achieved using the latest technology.