We are forwarding to the fourth industrial revolution with the help of technological advancement, sustainable development, and increased efficiency. The competition between tech companies has peaked, and we can now enjoy more benefits from smart solutions.
As people of today’s day and age, we are already quite familiar with the disruptions caused by IoT in every aspect of our lives.
Starting from health and fitness, home automation, automotive and logistics, education, and industrial IoT have facilitated the work process and made our lives flexible.
Agriculture is not an exception as well. Especially to meet the ever-growing demand, many companies and individuals have already started incorporating IoT in agriculture, which will only expand in the coming days.
The number of technological transformations and agricultural applications also shows how we are advancing to smart farming day by day.
What is Smart Farming?
Smart farming is an emerging concept where we incorporate information, communication Technologies, IoT-enabled sensors, predictive analysis, and automation to increase the number of crops in a calendar year.
Furthermore, lessening the dependency on human labor and enhancing the quality of agricultural products can also be considered achieved through smart farming—IoT in agriculture, a capital-intensive approach to constantly monitoring the fields for automating the irrigation system.
How Is IoT Reshaping Agriculture?
IoT can contribute in many aspects when it comes to agriculture. Even for the environmental issues, we have no other choice but to apply IoT in agriculture for a long-term outcome. From efficient water usage to optimization of inputs and treatments, IoT can help maximize profit and enable farmers to deliver better products at a lower cost.
Data Collection: Nowadays, we can collect a wide variety of data with the help of IoT-enabled devices. These influential data, like weather, soil quality, crop growth progress, cattle health, and so on, can play a crucial role in deciding and planning accordingly to change the state of business and earn revenue.
Better Control: IoT can give us full control over the amount of production in a year. If we know the actual amount of crops we are going to harvest beforehand, it will surely help make product distribution better and plan according to the condition.
Cost Management and Waste Reduction: Mitigating risk is probably the best intervention that IoT can offer for the agriculture industry. If we can detect inconsistencies and anomalies in crop production, we will be able to control costs and reduce waste to increase production.
Process Automation: We can get rid of the dependency on human labor to automate processes like irrigation, fertilizing, or pest control. IoT smart sensors and devices can maintain these processes through the product life cycle to increase production.
Product Quality and Volumes: IoT has enabled us to maintain the highest quality standard and increase the number of crops to meet the demand. So, as a nation, the necessity to import will decrease, and the chances of exporting will also increase.
Top Applications of IoT In Agriculture
Technological development and the incorporation of AI and ML have facilitated the IoT industry significantly. Besides, smart IoT sensors and applications have opened new opportunities that we could never think of.
In this article, we will discuss the major impacts of IoT in agriculture. So, if you are an IoT professional or interested in smart farming, you are at the right place.
1. Precision Farming
Precision Farming is the most critical advantage we can extract by deploying IoT in agriculture. From the beginning of the agriculture system, we have to depend on nature for irrigation, planting seeds, fertilizing, and even growing crops.
The weather and climate conditions can also affect you, and you may not get the expected earnings at the end of the harvesting. However, with precision farming, we can have more control over the farming practices and deliver quality products while maintaining the highest standard.
- While with precision farming, raising livestock and growing crops become flexible, it can help get better farming management.
- Combines the key components of IoT and technologies like sensors, control systems, robotics, autonomous vehicles, and automated hardware.
- Besides, technologies to access high-speed internet, low-cost satellites, and reliable devices facilitate the precision farming trend.
- Many organizations have been working on this famous application of IoT to deliver ultra-modern agronomic solutions for precision irrigation.
- Variable rate irrigation is another thing we can mention here that helps optimize crop fields with improved yields and water efficiency.
- It can also ensure soil moisture, and farmers can help specialists and consultants increase production from cloud-based applications.
2. Climate Condition Monitoring
If you are wondering about the best smart agricultural gadgets, then certainly weather stations and various combinations of smart farming sensors will come first. Usually, these devices are installed across the field. They can collect data from the environment and transmit it to the cloud.
Anybody accessing that specific cloud setup can gain the data and collect meaningful insights. As a result, climate Condition Monitoring can change traditional farming practices and generate efficient innovation for any agricultural organization.
- With the connected application, you can gain hidden patterns and transform data into actionable insights to do more than just monitor climate.
- You can detect the common diseases for wheat, vine, and apple crops. To mitigate the risk of other diseases, you can also check the historical trend of collected data.
- Be able to track everything starting from temperature, wind direction, water pressure, humidity, and rainfall, and plan to act accordingly.
- You will find many applications with well-designed dashboards to collect more metrics and use fleet management tools.
- Besides, monitoring climate conditions will enable you to choose the best crops that will grow best under the given climate conditions.
- Lastly, now it has become easier to measure the amount of fertilizer, configuration of samples, water usage, and so on to improve the capacity to a great extent.
3. Crop Management
IoT has been reshaping many industries to add advantages and reduce the cost of generating more revenue. For example, you can see IoT in agriculture as a revolution, and with time, more and more IoT solutions have been introduced to the common streamlining services.
One of the best IoT agricultural devices is the crop management tools that you might look for if you are a goal of smart farming. It is an important element of precision farming and can enable you to manage farms more efficiently and effectively.
- Like the weather stations, we have already discussed that crop management tools are usually installed in the crop field to collect specific data.
- Farmers can get important information with the help of IoT, such as temperature fluctuation and precipitation of leaf water.
- Besides, you will get insights into the health of crops by measuring the key parameters so that you can apply for required medicines accordingly.
- Crop management tools can also play a responsible role in improving the existing farming practices for sustainable development and increased production.
- You will be able to monitor your crop’s growth and detect anomalies that may hamper the expected production rapidly.
- Hence, preventing any disease or infestations becomes simple to prevent damage to your yield.
4. Smart Greenhouse
Smart Greenhouse is an important part of IoT applications in agriculture. It is undoubtedly a revolution for the agriculture industry that refers to the use of sensors, actuators, monitoring, and control systems to create a self-regulating microclimate to accelerate plant growth. Thus, it plays an important role in optimizing the growth condition of the plants.
Besides we can also mention automating the growing process to highlight the importance of Smart Greenhouse for smart farming. Smart greenhouses are a stellar example that shows how IoT is enabling us to take better care of our yields and increase production as well.
- The best part of Smart Greenhouse is it can collect 24/7 data on crops and surroundings through the help of a wide variety of sensors.
- Once the data is transmitted to an IoT platform, we can easily apply analytical algorithms to uncover hidden meanings and abnormalities.
- The implication of automation on processes like HVAC and lighting operations, irrigation, and spraying activities becomes flexible.
- Besides, you can always take advantage of continuous data monitoring, predictive models, assessment of crop disease, and so on.
- Labor work can be minimized significantly to increase efficient resources and optimize the chemical uses for the best quality.
- On top of that, Smart Greenhouse can also contribute to enhancing irrigation and fertilization practices.
5. Data Analytics
Data analytics is a core component of any IoT-enabled service. Also, without the proper data analysis, technologies like machine learning or artificial intelligence cannot really operate to the highest level. So, from training a dataset to predicting the outcome, we cannot ignore the importance of data analytics.
Besides, smart sensors through IoT can collect more accurate data, ignore anomalies, and trace patterns to make self-regulating decisions. Cloud computing is a part of IoT in agriculture to offer cost-effective solutions for storing massive datasets.
- Cloud storage, on-demand computing, and an end-to-end IoT Platform have a huge role if you want to achieve smart farming practices rapidly.
- It helps to regulate the processes and enables you to reach the goal of your estimated production.
- While the IoT sensors can collect data on a large scale, the analytics tool can extract meaningful information to make better decisions for the farmers.
- You can easily measure weather, livestock, yield, and crop conditions for optimizing work processes.
- Hence, you can easily scale up technological innovations according to the requirement or the data-driven result.
- Data analytics is also important for maintaining the quality of crops and the fertility of the land. Besides, trend analysis is also there to know the climate conditions beforehand.
6. Agricultural Drones
Innovation can be of three types. They are sustaining innovation, efficiency innovation, and disruptive innovation. And you will be surprised to know that with the help of IoT, we can not easily generate all types of innovation for any industry.
Agriculture is not an exception and has already enjoyed the significant advantages of IoT sensors, applications, and smart devices. Therefore, you can consider Agricultural Drones as a trending disruption that comes with a wide array of use cases for smart farming.
- There are two types of drones for agricultural purposes. One is known as the Ground drone, and the other one is called the Aerial drone.
- From the assessment of crop health and crop monitoring, Agricultural Drones can also be helpful for crop spraying and field analysis.
- It can decrease the dependency on human labor, and you will be able to save a lot of money and time if you start using Drones for irrigation.
- Along with the proper strategy and planning, agricultural drones can boost crop production and help us to meet the demand.
- Besides, Drones are equipped with high-functional IoT sensors, which means you will get more accurate data to make better decisions.
- Collect information about plant health once they start growing. Drones can also reduce the environmental impact.
7. Cattle Monitoring and Management
We have been talking about the role of IoT in Agriculture in this article. You have already seen many applications that clearly show how IoT can add advantages and enable us to have more control over the irrigation process.
But as we prioritize smart farming, we cannot ignore cattle management, which is a major part of any agriculture industry. So IoT has also reached this sector and contributes to better management of cattle.
- IoT sensors can be of many types, so you will find sensors you can attach to the animals to keep them under continuous monitoring.
- It can help to easily analyze the health condition to protect them from sudden death, which can cause enormous loss.
- IoT can also take care of the Log performance for you. Hence, the entire process of cattle management becomes stress-free and flexible.
- In developed countries, IoT applications for pet care have become a common phenomenon that can transmit emergency signals to the owners if required.
- Companies like SCR by Allflex and Cowlar have been using smart sensors to render suitable temperature, health, activity, and nutrition for each animal.
- You can also collect mass data to get more insights and improve for a better result when it comes to production.
8. Predictive Analytics For Smart Farming
Predictive analytics is a key factor and plays a major role in precision farming. In Fact, they go hand in hand, and it is impossible to achieve one by ignoring another. For example, we can collect highly relevant real-time data using smart sensors and IoT, but without proper data analytics, it is not possible to sense or predict.
Here’s where predictive analytics comes into play to predict crop harvesting time, the risks of diseases and infestations, yield volume, and so on.
- With predictive analytics, farming becomes more flexible, and you get more time to take proper actions.
- There are many use cases of prediction in smart farming, such as farmers knowing the actual volume and quality of yields beforehand.
- Both food and agriculture can take advantage of accurate forecasting to know the source commodities and assess risk to increase production.
- The ability to monitor climate conditions and their impact on production is another thing you can enjoy through the help of predictive analytics.
- On top of that, we can protect our crops and yields by successfully predicting extreme natural disasters like floods and drought.
- It can contribute to optimizing the water supply for irrigation, even up to 50%, while you can select the adequate amount of water and nutrients for each crop.
9. End-to-end Farm Management Systems
If you want to find agricultural productivity, you will need to measure the ratio of input and output. Measuring the overall agricultural output often becomes pretty hard as we measure the crop yield to find the weight.
Farm productivity management systems can make your work simple, although it is a complex approach when discussing IoT’s role in agriculture. Many applications are already available in the market, such as Trimble, FarmERP, FarmLogs, Agworld, AgriWebb, Agrivi, etc.
- To use any end-to-end farm management system, we will need to install agriculture IoT devices and sensors across the field.
- Any smart farm management system has a well-designed dashboard that can produce meaningful insights to influence your decisions.
- Smart sensors and devices directly transmit data to the dashboard, and a powerful analytical report will be in your hand within a few minutes.
- You will surely enjoy the built-in accounting and reporting features, enabling you to generate cost-effective solutions and smart decisions.
- Besides, you can control your farm remotely without being present on-premise. You will be able to complete all business operations using software like FarmLogs and Cropio.
- Advanced features like vehicle tracking, automation, storage management, and logistics are also available with modern farm management systems.
10. Data Security
When we talk about IoT products in agriculture, we must consider security as we must work with large datasets. If you do not take care of proper data handling, it may lead to security loopholes that cause a major loss.
Data is important for precision agriculture, making it a suitable choice for the preparators. Unfortunately, data theft and hacking have become a common phenomenon in the agricultural industry, which is the prime time to get serious about security and protecting your datasets.
- Without taking adequate actions to protect your dataset from being corrupted, it is not simply possible to take proper actions for crop production.
- Although data security in agriculture is still not a popular topic, ensuring security is the only solution in the long run to enjoy the advantage of IoT solutions.
- Even if you are using a drone to transmit data to farm machinery, you should control access and apply the required authentication.
- Encryption is a great choice, and IoT sensors now follow standardized security guidelines to ensure your data is in safe hands.
- You will also find many applications that can monitor data traffic, use advanced methods to protect sensitive data and leverage AI-based security tools.
- People can also apply internal security policies, trace suspicious activities, and store data in the blockchain network to ensure integrity.
So here are the top applications of IoT you will see in the agriculture industry nowadays. If you are a farm owner, this is a favorable time to take advantage of these emerging applications. From cattle management to yield monitoring farms, you will find IoT has been reshaping every aspect of the agriculture industry.
IoT products may vary from one farm to another. So, you need to consider the market segment, climate, and region before adopting any new technology. So, there is no way to ignore IoT in agriculture if you want to remain in this competitive industry for a long time.
On the other hand, governments should take necessary steps so that the farms in underdeveloped countries can go through the digital transformation and take the first step of product discovery. After that, the roadmap of the project and realistic budget should be fixed before jumping into the vast opportunities IoT can offer.