Smart agriculture brings a lot of benefits to crops, for example, through the use of Internet of Things, different strategies can be implemented to make these crops more resistant to hard weather conditions. There are other benefits of IoT for agriculture, and future challenges that must be known. Keep reading to know more about smart agriculture.
What is smart agriculture?
Smart agriculture, also known as smart farming, AgriTech or AgroTech is a relatively new concept. This refers to using the Internet of Things, robots, AI, special sensors designed for agriculture, drones, big data, and location systems in a farm. The main goal of smart agriculture or AgriTech is to improve the quality and quantity of crops.
These changes in agriculture are needed due to the advances in international trading between countries, the growth of the world population, faster shipping times, and people’s desire to try new and exotic foods.
IoT has an important role in Smart agriculture, because this technology allows farmers to make crops more sustainable and productive, since the resources involved in the growing process can be efficiently used.
According to Statista, the global IoT market size in 2018 was 14,79 billion dollars, and it is expected to grow to 28,64 billion dollars by 2023.
This is a market that needs a lot of investment, and not only that, the IoT agriculture sector also needs the creativity of inventors that are willing to develop smart farming technologies. AgriTech is growing and gaining more popularity since countries need to integrate technology in the agriculture sector to remain competitive in the market.
How to use technology in agriculture
As we mentioned above, IoT, robots, AI, and many other elements help agriculture nowadays. Learn below how smart agriculture uses technology.
Agriculture IoT sensors can monitor the quality of the soil (if it is dry or wet), water, moisture, and light. Farmers can make decisions according to the necessities of the crops. Information gathered thanks to smart agriculture IoT sensors can orientate when it is necessary to collect the crops, process them, store them, apply chemicals to protect the crops against pests, or apply fertilizers to provide more nutrients to the crops.
Some surveillance processes can be automated with the help of robots. For example, drones can be programmed to take aerial images. The Internet of Things helps these drones to deliver useful information related to the production, the conditions of the land, the content of organic matter, levels of humidity, and nitrogen in the soil, etc. Besides, drones can detect potential intruders, predators, or other potential risks for the crops, and send those notifications in real-time to the people in charge.
Traditional farming requires a person to walk through the crops to check their state, quality and quantity. However, IoT for agriculture represents a great saving in production costs, time and energy. And better information can be collected and analyzed.
Tractors are a crucial part of traditional farming. But now, through smart agriculture IoT devices installed in them, they can be tracked and monitored. This way, farmers can tell if there are tractors that aren’t working well and need maintenance, or if the driver is not doing his job properly. AgriTech implies constant monitoring, and this may help improve the travel time of the tractors in the crops.
On the other hand, tractors that use IoT agriculture technology will perform better by sowing the seeds to the correct depth, which will be beneficial for the crop’s growth. Tractors that work in combination with smart agriculture technology will help maximize the field performance.
Greenhouses can be automated through the use of smart farming technologies. By using smart agriculture sensors, the irrigation cycles can be programmed according to the necessities of the plants, or adjust the weather conditions to maintain their welfare.
The internet of things in agriculture gathers tons of information. However, farmers must analyze and choose carefully what specialized sensors they may need that are really useful for the crops they have. There is still a lot to be done here, if you have an IoT device idea that can be implemented in AgriTech, or you need IoT product development consultancy, let us know by clicking below.
Decision making in smart agriculture
As we mentioned above, smart agriculture companies gain a lot of benefits with all the information IoT for agriculture provides. Thirty or forty years ago, farmers didn’t have the technology to analyze deep down the status of the crops, and probably it was more difficult to make important decisions; they only had trial and error strategies.
Now, thanks to smart farming technologies, data collection can be used in a more comprehensive way to optimize the production process. Since potential problems are identified, there is higher precision and 24/7 control on the crops. Therefore, the crop yield is more likely to grow and generate more income in the long term.
Advantages of smart agriculture
Smart agriculture companies are becoming more competitive in relation to traditional farmers. They produce higher quality products, crop yield is maximized, and so, they reach more markets.
Using technology for the benefit of agriculture helps to save a lot of water. Data collected from the sensors (that measure soil moisture) and weather forecasts allow watering only when needed and for the right time.
Another advantage of smart agriculture is the positive impact on the environment. Data collected through the different devices help to take good care of the land, and therefore, it increases its sustainability in the long term.
Global warming is a concern for many countries. The natural resources are limited and we don’t know how agriculture and other productive systems will perform in the future in extreme conditions.
It is necessary to continue advancing in smart agriculture by using all the gathered information to build new technologies. In the upcoming years, crops will need to resist higher temperatures, floodings, heavy storms, and long droughts. IoT must provide enough information that allows smart farming companies to find new and creative ways to produce high-quality products, and to monitor through weather stations the positive or negative forecasts for the different crops, and act accordingly.
If you are interested in creating an IoT device for agriculture, we invite you to click on the button below and schedule a free consultation with us.