Agriculture is the foundation of the world’s food supply. Although often taken for granted, most of us would go hungry without the food produced by conventional farming operations. That said, agriculture faces a number of challenges in 2020. Everything from environmental issues and land use to funding will stand in the way of a sustainable return. This is where IoT based systems come into play. While most of us pair the IoT with our Alexa smart-devices and wearables, IoT actually plays a key role in agriculture. IoT-based farming can offer significant benefits, including effective water usage, automated inputs and improved treatment. In modern-day agriculture, IoT will help to grow as it continues to revolutionize the industry well into the future. Let’s look at how IoT can make an important contribution to the growth of agricultural practices in the new year.
Adapting Precision Farming Practices
Precision farming or precision farming is simply anything that makes farming practice more regulated, whether by raising livestock or by increasing crop yields. Total consistency in decisions is the overall objective. It is a farm management approach that uses IT and equipment such as robots, autonomous vehicles, variable-rate technology, control systems and automated hardware. Precision agriculture is being leveraged around the world, thanks to the adoption of IoT components. Finally, systems such as CropMetrics exist to precisely control aspects of agriculture, such as irrigation and even food.
The Drones of Field and Forestry
When it comes to IoT applications in agriculture, agricultural drones or agricultural drones are absolutely key. Drones are being used in agriculture to effectively improve the requisite agricultural practices. Land-based and aerial drones are used for assessment of crop safety, irrigation aid, crop tracking, crop spraying and field / soil analysis. Major benefits of drones include automated GIS mapping, time-saving capabilities (otherwise farmers would have to do so themselves), improved yields, and more vibrant crop health. The data collected by these drones contributes significantly to the agricultural industry.
Livestock tracking capability
One of the key ways IoT will impact agriculture in 2020 is through the ability to collect data on the health, location and overall well-being of livestock, such as cattle. These data are important for the identification and separation of sick animals from the herd, ensuring that others in the herd are kept safe. In addition, IoT sensors will help ranchers find their missing cattle or keep track on where a specific herd is grazing that day. None of this was as easy before the IoT. Cow-monitoring solutions can also allow herd owners to track pregnant cows or those that are about to give birth. A battery-powered sensor is ejected as soon as the cow’s water falls. This information is then sent to the rancher so that they can assist the cow in the birth process. It removes a great deal of the risk involved in the birth of a calf.
Smart Greenhouses Tech-Savvy
As a result of climate change, greenhouse farming is becoming an important means of keeping crop yields high and ensuring a continuous supply of food. Smart greenhouses powered by IoT monitor all environmental parameters through manual intervention. Software can intelligently monitor / control the climate by means of sensors that calculate the exact environmental factors of the plants being grown. The network can be remotely accessed when attached to IoT devices, offering farmers a degree of control they have never seen before. When weather and climate trends are more volatile, smart greenhouses are a way for farmers to minimize losses and keep profits high.
Thanks to IoT farming, the process is becoming more automated and more precise, giving farmers a certain degree of control over livestock and crops. Costs are reduced, monitoring is reliable, and farmers no longer have to rely on their own decisions when it comes to such issues as sick animals or crop health. IoT will continue to have a greater effect on agriculture in 2020 and beyond.