The rich diversity and nutrition of the soil fade away due to years of farming. Thus, to conserve fertility, it has become essential to combine agriculture with technology. In this era of digitalisation, the agriculture sector is encountering a radical transformation and relies on precision farming. It involves sensors, robots, GPS, data-analytics software, etc., to produce healthier crops and higher yields. It holds promise for the sector to ascend to the next level of productivity and profitability. Precision farming further welcomes the concept of IoT in agriculture.
Smart agriculture using IoT (Internet of Things), smart agriculture reduces costs, boosts efficiency, maximises results, saves water and energy, and more. It helps cultivators meet the requisite conditions to increase crop yield and health, thus contributing to sustainable agriculture.
Critical factors such as the need to match food production to meet the rising population’s demands, existing threats to food security, and climatic changes that affect crop production urge farmers to look for innovative approaches to increase efficiency and productivity.
The top priorities of smart agriculture using IoT focus on weather, soil temperature, moisture, nutrients, and crop conditions. Let us review some of them.
As we mentioned previously, IoT sensors provide real-time data, which is helpful for both agribusinesses and farmers. They reduce manual labour, usage of water and energy, maintenance costs, and more. Other applications of IoT in agriculture are:
IoT is the central component of precision farming. It empowers cultivators to increase yield, minimise damage due to pests and diseases, and optimise resource usage. The data from the IoT devices are transmitted to make subtle adjustments for immeasurable benefits.
Below are a few of the several advantages of smart agriculture using IoT.
Wireless Communication: IoT with extensive mobile coverage supports LoRaWAN, 5G, Zigbee, WiFi, satellite and more. It provides smart agriculture solutions to farmers from urban, rural, and remote environments. Also, as the low-power IoT systems (nodes and sensors) run on batteries, solar, or other renewable energy sources, they are cost-effective in the long run.
Water Conservation: The World Wildlife Fund states that agriculture and farming consume 70% of the world’s freshwater, but about 60% of this goes to waste due to several reasons. IoT in agriculture helps conserve water by ensuring that farmers use the resource judiciously and prevent the depletion of groundwater reservoirs, too.
Prevents Over- or Underwatering: Overwatering hampers the oxygen levels of the roots and shuns crop growth. It even causes root rot in some plants, and as a result, they eventually die. Likewise, under-watering causes plants to grow slowly with leaves edges that are brown and dry. Some plants may even fail to flower entirely. Ultimately, poor plant health leads to death.
Cost-effective and Time-saving: IoT devices serve the purpose of periodical testing. Farmers can rely on these devices to check the humidity level and temperature of the soil, and save a lot of time and resources. They can choose the ideal crop for the prevailing conditions to ensure productivity and profitability. The devices are affordable and do not require special skills to use and maintain these devices.
Accuracy: IoT-based devices provide real-time data that are accurate, up-to-date, and automated and thus are more efficient than manual testing. Besides, they present a deep understanding of soil health and help producers to take action accordingly.
IoT devices unearth critical data for further research and understanding by agronomists, farmers, and agribusinesses. Nonetheless, this data is most valuable when the end-consumers can view them as actionable insights.
To achieve this, CropIn’s SmartFarm Plus uses AI and data analytics to assimilate data from multiple sources, including third-party ERP solutions, manual input using the SmartFarm app, earth observation and satellite-based weather data, drones and other IoT devices. SmartFarm Plus leverages new-age technologies to deliver superior decision support at multiple levels to help advance agri-productivity for enterprises globally.
SmartFarm Plus: The one-stop integrable farm management platform for efficiency, predictability & sustainability.