As the world population grows, the agriculture industry is under pressure to provide quality food while reducing the negative impact it has on the environment. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that by 2050, there will be a 70 percent increase in food consumption. Also, as natural resources such as freshwater become scarce, we are now looking for different and more efficient ways to increase farm yield. With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), it is becoming possible to satisfy consumers’ ever-growing demand. So, in this article, we will discuss the applications of IoT in agriculture and their benefits.
In the last few years, we have noticed a shift from conventional farming methods to the more advanced ones. This is possible because the Internet of Things has enhanced both the quality and quantity of agricultural output. IoT in agriculture uses satellites, drones, robots, and computer imaging, and remote sensors, together with predictive analysis and machine learning to monitor crops, survey and map the fields. All of these provide data to farmers for rational farm management plans. Here are some of the most prevalent applications of IoT in agriculture:
Smart agriculture is the use of IoT solutions in farming. Even though IoT in agriculture is not as popular as in other industries, its adoption is constantly growing. According to BI Intelligence, the number of IoT device installations in farming is growing at an annual rate of 20 percent. Also, by 2025, the global smart agriculture market size will reach $15.3 billion. Since the market is still developing, it provides opportunities for early adopters to set themselves apart from their competition.
Smart IoT devices collect data such as soil quality, cattle health, weather conditions, which the farmer can use to know the exact state of the farm, equipment efficiency, and staff performance. It will give them better control over the quality of crops and livestock. With smart farming, you can accurately predict the output of your farms, which will help you to better plan product distribution. Also, having the ability to monitor crop and animal health, you will be able to intervene at the right time to prevent losing your yield.
Some farmers lose a significant amount of profit yearly due to animal and crop deaths or illnesses. However, they can utilize IoT applications and devices in every aspect of their farms, from animal health and habits to soil and weather conditions. For example, these sensors can provide information on the ndvi mapping, which reflects the health of plants. These devices can be placed on the neck, legs, throat, and even stomach of the animals to provide farmers real-time information on the state of cattle, their grazing, movement, and mating behavior.
This is another form of livestock monitoring where electronic tags are placed on the ear of the cattle. These tags contain radio frequency identification chips that send signals to antennas found on feeding troughs. It allows farmers to know when and how much the animals are eating.
Cloud computing has been a game-change across several industries. It provides farm owners with all the information collected by the various sensors placed on the farm, inventory and equipment levels. With this data, farmers can obtain valuable insights and make informed decisions regarding their future plans.
According to a report in 2014 from the Farm Journal, over 17 percent of farmers were already using cloud computing to manage data. Folks can now access the information stored on these servers over the internet using various devices.
Milking cows is a time-consuming and challenging process requiring many people who could be performing other farm-related tasks. This problem can be solved with robotic milking systems, which need only one person to feed and milk all the cows as they line up at the milking stations. The machines also monitor the number of daily milkings, output, and distance covered by each animal.
Smart farming and IoT device connectivity has a lot of advantages in the agriculture sector. It is already pushing a shift from traditional methods of farming to more modern ones. In the future, we will see many more innovations geared towards providing high-quality foods with a minimal negative impact on the environment.
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