Almost all industries have the influence of IoT. Businesses across these industries are observing the positive outcomes of accepting IoT software and hardware-based technology implementations. IoT solutions are making homes smarter, turning production facilities more productive, securing schools, providing intelligence to vehicles, and so on. Today’s IoT can now make it possible to devise low-cost automation solutions for a variety of things. So, when every industry is exploring advantages in accepting IoT, how can agriculture be an exception?
When IoT is introduced to the agriculture sector, it has the potential to completely revive it. IoT empowers farmers to reliably and efficiently take care of crops and livestock. When blending IoT with AI, then farmers get intelligent ways to automate not only their equipment and machinery but also to monitor their livestock in real time. The duo of IoT and AI lets farmers produce more from the same resources and endlessly feed the hungry world.
Allow me to present some examples helping farmers understand how IoT can advance the agriculture & farming sector.
Automation Of Farming Machines & Equipment
Modern farming practices largely rely on a wide range of machines and equipment to keep on producing more. But farmers need to continuously run these machines and equipment. On the flip side, global farming sector is facing shortage of skilled workers. People are seen less attracted towards participating in farming and accepting it as full-time profession. In result, farmers are bearing heavy losses.
Here, IoT can really help them come out of this situation and continue producing. IoT software and hardware can be deployed to automate almost all farming machines and equipment, like tractors, cultivators, harrows, etc and to operate them with no or limited human dependency.
Farming vehicles can be automated with the self-driving vehicle technology that many automobile manufacturers around the world are already testing. Here, IoT can make automation as cheaper as it can easily be afforded even by medium-level farmers.
Though, self-driving vehicles may still take several years before they become available for public use. The issues related to accuracy, safety, and reliability still need to be solved because a minor malfunctioning in a vehicle’s automation can cause damage to human-lives. But these issues just do not to be completely solved before farmers can accept the automation for their machines and equipment.
The technology of vehicle automation should first be adopted by agriculture machines and equipment manufacturers. Also, the technology can easily be tested with almost no risk of life and property because farmlands are open places with no pedestrian or vehicle overtaking each other.
Now many farmers are commercially engaged in breeding thousands of animals, otherwise known as livestock. For these farmers, their commodity is living, breathing, and moving. So, they need to stay extra watchful. Of course, monitoring livestock is more critical than monitoring crops or equipment.
But IoT can make livestock monitoring quite easier. To monitor, farmers can connect sensors with wearables of animals. These sensors can be used to track the real time location of an animal, its heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, breathing rate, digestion, and lots of other conditions. That data can be transmitted to a core computer in real time for further analysis.
These sensors can also spot if an animal is sick when readings are abnormal and by tracking their optimal grazing patterns and then quickly react to take precautions to prevent a transmittable disease and keep other animals in herd safe and healthy.
IoT Connected Beehives
In bee farming, beekeepers can use IoT technologies to manage bee-hived remotely and collect data to assess bees. They can use sensors to schedule various events and execute tasks that assure better care of bee-colonies.
Beekeepers can use IoT based temperature regulating cork and hive gates. Also, sensors can help them count the bees going out of and coming in a hive. A monitor can capture data and transmit it to software in the cloud. With these IoT-sensors, beekeepers can increase the survival of their bees, prevent hive-thieving, and produce more honey.
Now, IoT can make precision agriculture affordable. With this approach, farmers can collect data related to weather, soil quality, air, and crop-maturity, and make intelligent decisions to produce more.
Sensors can also help farmers understand about better water usages in their farmlands. They can automate watering to crops and discover the amounts of fertilizer and pesticide to be used. With precision sensors, farmers can monitor greenhouse facilities and record greenhouse temperature as well as keeping tabs on the data and also getting notified for temperature or humidity hitting preset levels.
With IoT precision agriculture sensors, farmers can operate more efficiently because they would have a deeper data insight and better control on their crops.
The modern IoT application development approach and IoT hardware make available everything that farmers need to produce more, while avoiding the damage or keeping its rate as low as possible. IoT can power them to control machines and equipment remotely and minimize need of human-workers.