According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, more than 60% of the world’s population depends upon agriculture for their living. It implies the World’s economy is heavily dependent upon this sector. But, Agriculture is the first industry to get affected by global warming and hazard environment challenges.
IoT which has transformed several industries digitally has been a driving factor for building a Smart agriculture system.
There are several red flags in monitoring the agriculture, which farmers face in day to day basis. Like regular equipment maintenance, unpredicted environmental factors lead to many revenue loss.
Monitoring crop health is difficult when it comes to monitoring huge hectors of fields.
Unpredictable weather changes yield to a huge monetary loss where the temperature, humidity, wind speed, and heavy rain alerts are often missed or lack of awareness to prepare the field.
Detecting pests and controlling them is a herculean task especially in the tropical regions and other areas where it is difficult to monitor them consistently from recurrence.
IoT based Smart farming and agriculture
“The future of Agriculture is Smart Farming”
Smart farming system using IoT is the need of the hour. With AI and machine learning, the current IoT technology in the Agriculture sector has proven to improve the quality and quantity of the crops with increased productivity.
Benefits of IoT solution for agriculture
Improved Agility of the Process
IoT application into the agriculture sector helps to analyze the data and modify the farming methods with the results of the existing data. With advanced machine learning and data visualization tools, real-time data monitoring was made possible. As a result, they support substantial growth in a cost-effective way.
Get Better Control over Internal processes
Now the site managers can get a better view of the farm field by providing data insights through iot based agriculture monitoring system about the crop health, soil strength, track the performance of the fleets and so much more. These will precisely provide detailed data and covers all the facets of agriculture from start to finish with IoT technologies.
Increase in Productivity
The main goal of smart agriculture system using IoT is to increase productivity on a large scale. Right from precision farming, autonomous tractors, extensive flood control methods through IoT sensors and forecast, the IoT based smart agriculture is the need of the hour. It helps to improve the irrigation facilities that increase crop productivity, offering end-end IoT agriculture monitoring.
Higher Return on Investment
Organic farming is the new trend in the agriculture sector owing to the health awareness of the Millenials and Gen X generations. With smart farming solutions, less crop wastage can be achieved easily and grow with more confidence to the biggest yield. Also, IoT solutions help the farmers to stay on top of the harvest season by performing various analysis based out of the real-time data.
Predict Forecast for better decision making
To create a calculated farm management decision, the smart agriculture monitoring system using IoT data visualization tools, provides an in-depth view of the asset health, soil health and a lot of factors involved around it. These predictive analysis helps a farmer or the landowner, to get a complete solution through a single dashboard using smart farming IoT solutions.
Helps to produce the best quality
Get a healthier and greener agriculture land that prevents the toxic environment of harmful pesticides. IoT helps to build a IoT based smart greenhouse with IoT microcontrollers, sensors that capture the plant growth, pest usage, lighting in a controlled environment. It helps to move towards eco-farming, avoiding the dangerous impacts of the chemicals that are a hazard to both humans and crops.
Technologies Used in IoT based Smart Farming:
There are several types of IoT sensor devices, tools, and technologies used for building a smart agriculture system.
Livestock monitoring is one of the important use cases of IoT implementation.
For example, with IoT based smart farming system, they facilitate remote monitoring of the cattle through neck collar sensors to track the herd, detects and alerts any predators.
Along with the state-of-the-art IoT hardware like smart wearables, they provide valuable data like herd location, walking time, water intake, heat condition, and lot more detailed data.
Communication protocols in smart farming systems, always remain as the backbone of any IoT based applications, whether they are required for a short-range or a long-range to cover a wide area of the land.
Intelligent farming uses protocols like LoRaWAN, Bluetooth, LR-WPAN in 5G mobile communication network.
ZigBee or Wifi is sufficient enough to cover a small field. Hence, all these protocols help to give the big picture of the farmers’ needs and challenges, providing solutions to rectify them.
Dedicated software platforms are used to monitor the different factors of farming.
For instance, weather monitoring software like SmartElement, Pycno gives granular details like humidity, precipitation, the temperature of the crop field.
Also, data analytics software like Power BI, Tableau helps to provide an end-end farm management systems.
Contus’ IoT based smart agriculture monitoring system
Contus has delivered IoT based smart agriculture with disruptive tools and technologies. It has built a GPS-enabled AI-based sprayer technology. Basically, it is built to monitor crop health with technology like CCU, connectivity control unit.
These smart IoT solutions are a boon to the landowners & farmers for building effective Smart farming.
Integrated with AI software
AI software technology captures the affected area latitude, longitude with 2 meters default and converting that into 4 latitudes, longitudes and transmits the signal to the sprayer with the help of CCU.
Connectivity Control Unit
Auto mode – Automatically sprays the affected area with the help of 4 latitudes and longitudes.
Manual mode – Manually instructs the sprayer (Right, Left and Both) to cover only the affected area.
Excellent communication between devices
The driver gets full access to all the files with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)Technology providing excellent communication between devices within close proximity.
Effective Image Capture
The effective image captures of the real-time crops to identify the affected area with appropriate color codes like Grey – Affected Area. Yet to spray, Red – Not Sprayed, Green – Sprayed.
As a result, it helped to reduce the Inventory Cost from spraying 200 L to 20 L
As smart agriculture solution matures, more and more farmers will emphasis on the data-driven technologies and AI technologies that are integrated with the IoT solutions. John Deere, one of the leading global heavy-duty automobile manufacturing companies, explained in a case study how effectively they utilized the data using smart IoT agriculture and increased their productivity to a significant level. Digital twin solutions for smart farming is also on the booming effectively by reducing the production downtime.