No matter how advanced our technologies become, humanity cannot survive without agriculture. We still rely on land cultivation and raising livestock. However, it doesn’t mean we can’t use advanced technology for these purposes. Let’s take a look at the use of IoT in agriculture to see how progress transforms humanity’s basic and probably most important industry.
The Internet of Things covers any devices and objects with sensors, processing ability, and software that are connected to each other and exchange data via a communication network. Simply put, any system in which elements interact with each other and/or with the environment with minimal or no human participation can be considered an IoT system.
IoT development plays an important role in high-tech electronics as this technology finds uses in almost any area from the consumer industry (smart homes) to industrial automation (predictive maintenance). Farming and ranching are no exception.
So how does the Internet of Things transform this industry? Here are some of the most common applications of IoT in agriculture.
What used to be a toy has become an advanced tool. Ground and aerial drones perform many tasks: they monitor crops and assess their health, spray water and pesticides, and gather data for further analysis. They help farmers to predict yields, map canopy cover, and weed pressure, and drainage measure nitrogen content in wheat, and more.Also read: Best 10 Semrush Alternative for 2021 (Free & Paid)
Also called “precision farming”, this concept refers to a complex high-tech farming management system that uses GPS, GIS, yield monitoring technologies, variable rate technology, remote sensing, and the Internet of Things.
These means can make farming more precise. They allow farmers to collect key information about the state of the soil, crops, weather, and different resources. With this information one can better understand when to fertilize the crops and how much, plan farm tasks, manage available resources, assess the impact of farming on the environment, and so on. As a result, farming becomes more efficient and sustainable.
Growing vegetables in greenhouses aren’t very efficient because it requires people to monitor the process and intervene when needed. But using IoT changes this. Various sensors can measure environmental factors. Computing systems can assess the sustainability of vegetables. Remote control systems can add nutrients, change the temperature or light level, etc.
Thus, IoT in agriculture cuts the need for manual labor, making the process more cost-effective and efficient.
Large livestock enterprises deal with hundreds and thousands of animals. Monitoring them can be a challenging task – unless you use wireless sensors and other technologies to track the location of animals, check their health, monitor pregnancies, and more. IoT solutions help ranchers to make a diagnosis in time and cure the animal before the whole herd becomes infected.
Different crops grow well in different climate conditions. Draughts, incessant rains and frost can seriously impact the quality and quantity of yields. To counter these challenges, farmers must be able to monitor weather conditions in real-time. And that is another common use of IoT in agriculture.
Sensors installed in the fields gather detailed information about temperature, humidity, rainfall, and other weather conditions. The data can be used for climate prediction and help farmers to decide what crop to grow or what measures to take to prevent damage.
The Internet of Things makes agriculture less risky. At the same time, IoT solutions reduce the cost of crop production, improve the quantity and quality of food, automate physically demanding jobs, and more.
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