Population growth, limited resources and changing climate conditions are challenges for the agriculture industry. Due to shrinking farmlands and limited natural resources, the agriculture industry is tasked with finding new ways to increase crops and ensure food production. This article defines IoT in agriculture and outlines how to apply advanced technology for industry modernization. We also discuss the best use cases of IoT in farming to increase productivity.
- What is IoT in Agriculture
- Advantages of Implementing IoT in Agriculture
- The Best Practices of IoT in Agriculture
- Final Thoughts
What is IoT in Agriculture?
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) predicts a 60% increased food demand to feed a world population of 9.3 billion by 2050. IoT in the agriculture market refers to the devices connected to the internet that help farmers close the supply-demand gap and increase productivity. Implementing technology in agriculture is not new. The agriculture industry has been tech-oriented for decades. In 2022 advanced solutions will help collect data on farming processes, raising livestock and growing crops.
Using drones, sensors and other intelligent solutions has become a standard practice in agriculture. IoT devices in agriculture boost the development of better farming strategies. They help farmers make data-driven decisions and automate farm labor. But it's not the only benefit you can get with applications of IoT in agriculture.
Advantages of Implementing IoT in Agriculture
There are many benefits of using the Internet of Things in agriculture. Below are the main reasons why farmers should accelerate the implementation of IoT in smart agriculture:
- Focus on data. Advanced software solutions help collect data on general performance, equipment efficiency, crops and other farming methods. The data from sensors, robots, automated vehicles, drones and hardware ensure an accurate analysis for better agriculture management. It is the most crucial point of using digital technology in agriculture.
- Increase efficiency with process automation. Applying IoT devices in agriculture allows farmers to automate processes like pest control, irrigation and fertilizing. It increases the efficiency of the farming business and saves time.
- Increase product quality. Accurate control of the production process helps farm owners implement better crop quality standards. Innovative technology ensures accuracy in predictions, which is vital in managing an agriculture business.
There are three kinds of IoT devices for smart agriculture: sensors, gateways and modules. These devices work together to provide accurate data to help farmers make the best business decisions.
- Sensors help collect data in real time. This data helps analyze soil conditions, the health of livestock and the operation of agriculture vehicles and equipment. There are a lot of innovations in IoT sensors in agriculture, such as the integration of low-power and miniaturized tracking solutions or the use of 5G for data gathering. Sensors also help track the weather and provide useful predictions on operations based on this data.
- Gateway devices ensure data transfer from one device to another. They ensure reliable access to sensor networks and cameras. Many farms are in rural locations and spread over large areas. Advanced gateway solutions help monitor the business in these environments.
- Modules ensure the update of sensors and other devices and allow for adding new functionality. It is the most critical and expensive part of IoT in agriculture. Module deployment needs to have high quality and reliability to work in extreme environmental conditions.
The Best Practices of IoT in Agriculture
You can see that the role of IoT in agriculture is vital, as this technology helps transform the industry in a few different ways. Let's discuss the most common applications of IoT in agriculture.
The most frequently used applications of IoT in agriculture are drones for monitoring fields and spraying crops, health assessment of livestock and irrigation. Drones can spray fertilizer up to 60 times faster than manual spraying. Drones are also better equipped than airplanes to collect data. Solutions like DroneSeeds help plant trees in deforested areas. Sense Fly drones help to analyze the health of crops. Drones are also used for field mapping.
Internet of Things applications in agriculture also include creating ideal climate conditions for a good harvest. Farmers were used to controlling and monitoring indexes manually, but IoT allows them to automate this process. Implementing sensor solutions provides critical data for farms such as temperature, soil conditions and lighting. When the system indicates a deviation, the device implements the best solution.
Livestock Monitoring And Management
Another way to use the Internet of Things agriculture technology is to apply sensors for livestock monitoring. These sensors can be attached to the animals to analyze their health and log data. Cowlar, for instance, provides sensors in collar tags that can be attached to an animal to provide detailed information on temperature, activity and nutrition. It can also provide information on location, reproductive cycle, activity level and other data points.
Analytics for Smart Farming
IoT applications for predictive analytics are the most in-demand in the industry. These devices use sensors, modules and getaway solutions to provide unique data on harvesting crops, possible diseases and other issues. They are the basis for data-driven decisions in the agriculture industry. For example, Crop Performance supports farmers in optimizing the water supply for each crop. This solution can also suggest the best organic manure or fertilizer for each crop in the field.
Crop Management Solutions
These devices can be placed in the field to track soil quality in real time. Farmers can get alerts that a remedy is needed. These solutions ensure the quality of the crop and improve field productivity. The data from these devices can also be used for the analytical software we discussed in the case of intelligent farming. Arabel, for example, is an excellent representation of IoT for crop management.
The IoT and agriculture industry used to be connected through various software solutions. The goal of these IoT devices is to provide humans with high-quality food products. In this article, we discussed the most common applications of IoT in agriculture and looked through the best solutions for crop monitoring, livestock management and creating intelligent greenhouses. Cprime Studios worked with the agriculture industry in developing advanced software solutions, and our expertise in building IoT for smart farming can be helpful for agriculture digitalization. To discuss your needs and possible solutions, you should contact our specialists.