Smart farming is a concept quickly catching on in the agricultural business. Offering high-precision crop control, useful data collection, and automated farming techniques, there are clearly many advantages a networked farm has to offer. Farms are becoming more connected as farmers realize the potential of IoT technologies in helping them minimize operation cost while still achieving better results.To help improve farm performance, IoT technology providers continue to develop platforms that can sense, process, and communicate precisely measured environmental data. Behind these IoT platforms is an array of technologies that includes sensing, microcontrollers, transmitters, energy harvesting, LED lights, drones.
IoT agriculture application areas include farm vehicle tracking, livestock monitoring, large and small field farming, and storage monitoring. Drones have become an invaluable tool for farmers to survey their lands and generate crop data. Farmers can use their smartphones to remotely monitor their equipment, crops, and livestock, as well as obtain stats on their livestock feeding and produce. They can even use this technology to run statistical predictions for their crops and livestock.BI Insider research is predicting that IoT device installations in the agriculture world will increase from 30 million in 2015 to 75 million in 2020, for a compound annual growth rate of 20%.The future of farming is in collecting and analyzing big data in agriculture to maximize efficiency.
- Livestock sensors can notify ranchers when animals have roamed from the herd so that ranch hands can round them up.
- Soil sensors can alert farmers to irregular conditions like high acidity, giving the farmer time to reconcile the issue and produce better crops.
- Self-driving tractors can be controlled remotely, providing significant savings in labor costs.
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Crop water management – Adequate water supply is an essence for agriculture and the crops can be damaged in either of situation of excess of water supply or in shortage of water supply. Agriculture Internet of Things with integration of Web Map Service (WMS) and Sensor Observation Service (SOS) provides a solution to manage water requirement or water supply for crop irrigation. Agriculture Internet of Things smartly analyses the water requirement of crop and utilizes the scarce water resource available to reduce wastage of water.
Soil sensors for water use efficiency – Soil sensors reduce wasted water by continuously measuring moisture levels in the soil. Sensors also allow for water controllers to optimize water usage efficiency in an irrigation system. Sensors also help to preserve water in addition to saving energy by checking soil composition to reduce fertilizer consumption. Wireless communication between the sensors, devices, and water controllers requires a quick and easy installation along with very little maintenance.
Cloud applications for Monitoring Fields – The sensors continuously monitor environmental conditions like light, humidity, and temperature. The sensors also measure the soil’s nutrition and moisture levels. Sensors connect to the network using Bluetooth. This valuable data is then sent to the cloud and stored. A customized application will analyze the data to determine when the field needs watering. It will also provide hourly forecast and daily historical local weather data. In addition, the application sends notifications and tips to the user so the user can make changes to minimize risk by matching weather conditions.
Machines for routine operations – IoT offers robotic machines that connect wireless networks and run the agricultural process more productively and efficiently. Small drones equipped with cameras can fly over the fields and monitor plant health from above. The drones will hover from plant to plant and suggests the right amount of pesticide to spray to the farmer. Automated tractors can now work with even more precision in agriculture. This can be done by farming the rows of crops without error, planting within a few inches of accuracy, and harvesting fields. It gives farmers more free time to do other work and increases productivity.
Food Production and Safety – Agriculture Internet of Things aims not only at attaining optimum food productivity along with quality matching the standards but also aims at Food security at different levels like storage, transportation.
Agriculture Internet of Things (IoT) Applications
The Phenonet Project by Open IoT – The Phenonet enables the plant breeders to evaluate the performance of differentiated varieties of wheat with help of measurements taken from remote sensors. These Sensors are capable of monitoring various factors like soil temperature, humidity, air temperature and so on.
CLAAS Equipment – CLASS is a leading manufacturer of agricultural machinery founded in 1913. CLASS offers tools and equipment’s to support Agriculture Internet of Things, The CLASS Agriculture Internet of Things equipment’s can be operated on autopilot and farmers can receive advice on ways to improve crop productivity and reduce grain losses. Cleangrow’s Carbon Nanotube Probe – CleanGrow Ltd., founded in the year 2009 Facilitates the service of making the quick measurement of concentration of ions in a given liquid. In other words the firm measures the various nutrient levels present in a given liquid on field. Cleangrow Ltd. Uses the Carbon Nanotube Probe as a transducing layer in the sensors, enabling the measurement or test for multiple ions in a solo device. This has also lead the meter to provide instant feedback to the user.
Cropx’s Soil Monitoring System – Cropx produces hardware and software systems that measure moisture, temperature, and electrical conductivity in the soil. Their system tells farmers when and how much to irrigate.
TeamDev’s Libelium Network For Tobacco Crop Quality – Tobacco is a big industry in Italy and requires certain environmental and climatic requirements for optimal growth. In response to this issue, an Italian software company—TeamDev—deployed Libelium’s Waspmote Plug & Sense platform to collect data on weather conditions that may affect tobacco crops. This technique can be used by tobacco farmers to optimize their crops in conditions not typically suitable for tobacco growth.
Motor Vehicles and Agricultural Machinery Monitoring
- Automatic registration of car operation modes.
- Control over travel speed and route.
· Tracking working hours of tractor drivers and machinery.
· Keeping record of fuel and other technical fluid consumption.