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How is IoT Transforming the Future of Agriculture?

Growing populations, environmental impacts, and increasing consumer demands are some of the challenges faced by the agriculture industry. It tries to meet increased food demands, and IoT in agriculture has been helping to tackle these difficulties significantly. Indeed, smart farming is a hi-tech, efficient, and future approach to agriculture. No wonder the global market size of IoT in agriculture is expected to grow by about 12 billion U.S. dollars by 2026.  

Smart agriculture is achieved by applying IoT innovations and connected devices within the agriculture process – from preparing the soil for planting to harvesting mature crops. Experienced IoT companies help to integrate smart farming IoT with the cloud to provide valuable real-time insights for farmers. Therefore, the combination of agriculture and technologies will thrive and prosper, given the population increase.

How to Use IoT in Agriculture Now?

Generally, the main goal of IoT applications is to help farmers gather and analyze different information to make informed and quick decisions to save the harvest. Here are some examples of how you can use the current Internet of Things in agriculture achievements: 

  • The IoT system can detect real-time weather conditions like temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind, rain, cloudiness, and others.  
  • The collected data helps to grow and sustain crops by giving farmers prompt hints on how to act in unfavorable weather conditions. 
  • Precise farming is a widespread IoT in agriculture application for monitoring animals, machinery tracking, and field observation thanks to successful AI use
  • IoT helps analyze soil, water, and nutrient conditions through sensors and secure cables. 

These applications of IoT in agriculture make the farming industry more effective, sustainable, productive, fertile, and profitable. Consequently, it ensures to meet humankind’s growing demand for fresh and high-quality food.  

What is the Future of IoT in Agriculture?

As we’ve mentioned, new achievements of the Internet of Things in agriculture are required to meet the needs of the projected global population, urbanization, and food production increases. Besides, it is not only about the growth but also about density: we will use significantly less land and resources to grow more food. Hopefully, universities, companies, and NGOs are putting together comprehensive research and developing novel technologies to address all of these issues.  

Let’s overview 5 examples of the future of IoT in agriculture. 

Vertical Farms

(Or controlled environment agriculture, or weather-/climate- proof farming), it has already been deployed in industrial parks in North America, in the urban city centers of Asia, and even in the arid deserts of the Middle East. The farm is called vertical because food is grown three-dimensionally in vertical racks in specific containers (up to 16 floors high) as opposed to two dimensions of conventional farms. 

It is a relatively recent phenomenon, but it has already demonstrated its vivid efficiency and profitability, making it now more readily available and affordable. If you want to build this type of smart farming IoT, you need to replace some of the conventional farming elements with artificial substitutes, like sunlight (LEDs for the type of vegetables or fruits you’re growing). 

Smart Irrigation

With recurrent water crises and overall climate change, farmers face great difficulty with growing crops. However, smart irrigation provides a moisture sensor to check the soil for water level. For example, if the soil moisture drops below a specific level, the system triggers the water supply, and the water pump starts working automatically without persistent human control. 

Remote Sensing with RPAS

Satellite imagery can be used as a tool for producers to make in-season management decisions. Companies engrossed in the future of IoT in agriculture work on testing the efficacy and compatibility of data layers focused on thermographic imagery, multispectral, hyperspectral, NDVI, RGB, and ground penetrating radars.  

Optical Spot Spray

Optical spot spray technology evaluation and adoption can have long-term economic and environmental advantages. For example, Olds College is collaborating with Croplands and AAFC to determine the chemical use reduction, accuracy, and performance of sport spray innovation for western Canadian conditions (stubble type, travelocity, size of weeds) to spread it through the world.  

Real-Time Soil Nutrient and Grain Protein Analysis

Last but not least example of the future of IoT in agriculture is equipment that is easy to use, robust, and accurate enough to provide quality, repeatability, and value of data. It requires next-level instruments to utilize and evaluate real-time soil nutrient sensors and a real-time grain protein analyzer to determine applicability and ROI for local and global applications. 

Are There Smart Farming IoT Challenges?

Connectivity

Diverse systems use different protocols and data transmission methods. It poses a connectivity problem, but 5G technology development and the space-based Internet can provide fast and reliable connections. Future challenges require future decisions 🙂 

Design & Durability

Except for connectivity, there are outdoor spaces. Drones, sensors, monitoring stations, and other IoT in agriculture tools should have simple while functional design and a certain level of robustness to “work on the farm”. 

Limited Resources & Time

The integration of smart technology requires time and a professional team to implement all sensors in an adjusted and easy-to-manage system. Such companies consider rapid climate change, limited land availability, and other unfavorable factors to set everything up correctly. 

Summary

Applying the Internet of Things in farming industry decreases production losses by increasing the efficiency of different farming operations. Farmers no longer act by intuition but use precise data from remote sensors, drones, and robots to monitor crops and manage them appropriately. A proper management plan saves time and money due to effective analytical tools and progressive machine learning.  

If you want to discover the power of IoT in agriculture in your field, contact us to get a free consultation on IoT technologies that will suit your farm. 

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