Efficient Smart Farming Methods in Agriculture
Agriculture has been connected to humankind for thousands of years – this makes farming a business with a long tradition. At the same time humans sought to make farming easier and more efficient ever since: With a large variety of machines, ingenious production methods and more.
Under that perspective farming and the IoT are nothing contradictory, in fact both can form a beneficial symbiosis!
What is Smart Farming?
Smart Farming is a new concept in modern information and communication technology and changes the way we work in agriculture. Smart Farming with IoT relies increasingly on smart technology for the management of agricultural enterprises. And it does so in order to increase the quality and quantity of the products.
Key aspects in IoT farming include:
- Connectivity for remote access including access security.
- Data analysis with standalone analytics solutions
- Tracking through GPS or similar technologies
- Robotics in the form of processing equipment or autonomous tractors
- Sensors that test elements of farming such as water, moisture and temperature
- Software for specific farm types or detached Smart Farming IoT solutions.
These tools are the foundation for IoT based Smart Agriculture, enabling farmers to holistic monitoring and making strategic decisions.
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Smart farming – how the IoT found its way into agribusiness
Sensors, as used in Smart Farming and precision farming, have long been found in agriculture. However, the problem before IoT farming was the availability of live data. Whereas previously all data could be stored and only used later, Smart Farming allows direct access.
At the same time, smart agriculture relies more on modern and advanced sensor technology. Instead of filling a locked storage, they transmit their data in real time and connect it to a cloud. For example, via cellular or satellite networks.
Here’s how IoT is applicable to agribusiness
The foundation for Smart Farming is the Internet of Things. With its help, the benefits for agricultural machinery in Smart Farming are continuously increasing. They enable sustainable farming by monitoring fields in real time. The most important aspect is the use of networked devices implemented in agricultural machinery with the help of innovative technology. In smart agriculture, it can be used for growing food, but also for raising livestock.
The result: costs are reduced while productivity is maintained or increased. In addition, resources are conserved – for example, through more efficient use of water or electricity. This makes Smart Farming with IoT a forward-looking technology that is considered revolutionary in the entire agricultural sector.
These are the solutions Smart Farming with IoT offers to agriculture
The IoT can add significant value to nearly every aspect of agriculture. From simple crop cultivation to AR for inspection and maintenance, a wide variety of applications are conceivable. However, the two big areas for Smart Farming are agricultural automation and precision agriculture. Nevertheless, IoT based Smart Agriculture can support agriculture in different sub-areas.
Farming with more precision
Smart Farming and precision farming go hand in hand thanks to modern technology. Precision farming remains one of the best-known applications in this field. With the help of Smart Farming, fields can be observed, livestock can be monitored and their population can be checked regularly.
The basis for precision farming are sensors that collect and analyze numerous data. Based on the results, informed decisions can be made and next steps can be taken. With sufficient automation, the system can even carry out instructions itself, for example in irrigation management. This increases efficiency and effectiveness in an equal measure.
Precision in livestock farming
Benefits for Agricultural Machinery are also making themselves felt in livestock farming. Intelligent technology enables farmers to respond specifically to the needs of their animals. This means they can adjust nutrition and detect diseases at an early stage. In this way, the health of the entire herd can be improved!
Owners of a large farm also have the ability to monitor the location of their herds. This makes Smart Farming a special tool in this area.
The smart greenhouse
Smart farming can reduce manual intervention and increase production profits. The reason is that, for example, the AR for Inspection and Maintenance immediately indicates deviations from ideal values. Therefore, Smart Farming can save labor costs and avoid energy losses.
As in most areas of Smart Farming, various sensors are the basis. And that is to record and evaluate the individual environmental parameters. They are then transmitted to a cloud-based platform where they can be processed and monitored. In addition to this real-time monitoring, it is easily possible to be informed about changes in the greenhouse condition. By SMS or e-mail, for example.
As a result, growers can react immediately instead of noticing potential grievances during the next visit.
Predicting climate conditions
In Smart Farming, as in traditional agriculture, climate is critical. Those who can detect weather conditions in real time can sow the right crops, for example. IoT technology helps with optimal planting: because it determines values such as temperature, precipitation and humidity very accurately.
Easier data evaluation
The world of IoT offers enough space to store the large amount of agricultural data. This storage space is important because sensors in Smart Farming collect a large amount of information. This data can then be evaluated with specialized analytics tools and used to make effective decisions. This includes trend analysis, which includes upcoming weather conditions that depends on numerous factors.
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Smart farming and the use of drones in agriculture
In addition to sensors, other technological innovations in Smart Farming include agricultural drones that help farmers monitor their crops and determine their health. In addition to crop analysis, they also enable crop spraying and add thermal and multispectral capabilities to commonly used sensors. In Smart Farming, they help reduce environmental impact. This is because fewer chemicals are needed when sufficient data on the plants is available.
Will there soon be an Internet of Farming?
“Internet of Food and Farm 2020” is a European Commission project looking at a specialized Internet of Things. Within this framework, the potential of IoT technology for Smart Farming is being investigated. Namely, how it should strengthen the European agriculture and food industry. In the meantime, it is clear that a smart network will support automated decision-making in IoT agriculture and drive it forward in the long term.
Smart farming and the green revolution
The “Third Green Revolution” is based on the combination of Smart Farming and IoT technology. It is the next evolution that combines data-driven analytics and precision farming. It is already becoming apparent that this is a forward-looking path: Smart Farming will be used to reduce pesticides and fertilizers and increase yields. At the same time, the technology enables greater food safety and increased traceability. Smart farming is thus seen as a revolution that benefits both the environment and people.
Conclusion – the future of agriculture is smart
The Internet of Things is the foundation for Smart Farming. Thanks to remote access and basic access security, farmers can target their knowledge for a higher harvest. This closes the gap between quality and quantity. Faster action is possible through the use of advanced sensor technology and real-time data. These are crucial for a seamless and smart end-to-end operation.