So what exactly is Smart Farming?
The benefits of IoT and how it's shaping the future of farming
You will already be aware of how much technology has changed people’s everyday life. The truth is, IoT technology WILL have the same level of impact on how we farm in the future. Currently, there are 5 predominant ways IoT is being used to influence agricultural practices:
- Tons & tons & tons of data, collected by smart agriculture sensors, e.g. weather conditions, soil quality, crop’s growth progress or cattle’s health. This data can be used to track the state of your business in general as well as staff performance, equipment efficiency, etc.
- List Increased business efficiency through process automation. By using smart devices, you can automate multiple processes across your production cycle, e.g. irrigation, fertilizing, or pest control.
- Enhanced product quality and volumes. Achieve better control over the production process and maintain higher standards of crop quality and growth capacity through automation.
- Better control over the internal processes and, as a result, lower 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 crops you are going to harvest, you can make sure your product won’t lie around unsold.
- Cost management and waste reduction thanks to the increased control over the production, being able to see any anomalies in the crop growth or livestock health, you will be able to mitigate the risks of losing your yield.
- Climate Monitoring: By in large the most common IoT agricultural devices used today are weather stations. Combining several smart farming sensors, these stations take live weather data and feed it back to the cloud, allowing climate patterns to be mapped and informed choices to be made surround the appropriate crops to grow, any additional car those crops may need and best steps to maximise yield.
- Greenhouse Automation Weather stations aren’t just great for gathering weather information outdoors. When you place them in a Greenhouse, the data collected can be used to control other sensors to automatically control the climate, ventilation, irrigation and lighting levels.
- Soil Management Another key player in the smart agricultural team is the soil probe. This little but powerful device provides real time analysis of soil conditions such as moisture level, electrical conductivity, temperature and precipitation to leaf water potential. This gives a really good and detailed insight into your crops health and allows you to make changes as early as possible when things decline.
- Cattle monitoring and management Just like crop monitoring, there are IoT agriculture sensors that can be attached to the animals on a farm to monitor their health and log performance. This works similarly to IoT devices for petcare. These devices can be used to deliver temperature, health, activity, and nutrition insights on each individual cow as well as collective information about the herd
- End-to-end farm management systems A more complex approach to IoT products in agriculture can be represented by the so-called farm productivity management systems. They usually include a number of agriculture IoT devices and sensors, installed on the premises as well as a powerful dashboard with analytical capabilities and in-built accounting/reporting features.This offers remote farm monitoring capabilities and allows you to streamline most of the business operations. In addition to the listed IoT agriculture use cases, some prominent opportunities include vehicle tracking (or even automation), storage management, logistics, etc.
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