Farming has been continuously evolving over the last few decades. With the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), connected devices, and automation, agriculture has improved tremendously. With the introduction of smart gadgets into agriculture such as weather panels, drones, sensors, etc., farm managers are now in full control and are operating at maximum efficiency. With the usage of devices, farm managers are shifting towards climate-smart agriculture.
WHAT IS SMART FARMING?
Smart farming refers to applying IoT solutions (Information and Communication technologies) to improve agricultural produce's quality and quantity.
SMART FARMING MARKET:
The agriculture industry will be more critical in the coming few decades as the global population is projected to reach 9 billion by 2050. The agricultural sector's production volume must increase by 50%. Even though the IoT technologies used in agriculture are not as popular, the market is dynamic. The adoption of smart farming is multiplying. The current market share for smart farming is $5.6 billion and is set to $6.2 billion by 2021. The disruption of the supply chain and labor shortage due to COVID-19 forces adds to the migration towards smart farming.
BENEFITS OF SMART FARMING:
Real-time data insights:
Through the application IoT, farm managers can collect data from the devices and gadgets such as weather conditions, soil conditions, cattle health, etc. This data will help the manager to make a more informed decision.
Automation and increased efficiency:
Many monotonous tasks can be achieved with ease and efficiency through automation machinery such as automatic tractors and irrigation.
Increase in quality and quantity of production:
As managers collect data from smart gadgets, they can use appropriate pesticides, plant accurately, conserve water, and achieve better control over the process. This control offers managers to produce in large quantities without losing the quality of the yield.
Cost-cutting and waste reduction:
As control over the process increases, the risks and exceptions can be easily detected and solved immediately. Automation in planting, irrigation, and harvesting will decrease human error as well as costs.
Through smart farming, farm managers can plan the yield distribution and generate more revenue when compared to traditional agriculture.
APPLICATIONS OF SMART FARMING:
Vast amounts of data are collected from sensors present in the field such as lighting, soil condition, humidity, etc. With this data's help, farm managers know every metric precisely, enabling them to make more informed and optimal decisions. In precision farming using technology from companies like CropX, the decisions are made per plant and animal rather than for an entire field. By this process, managers can boost the overall efficiency of the yield.
Farm managers use sensors such as those from Cowlar to monitor an individual animal’s health, performance, and location. These sensors provide data enabling the manager to quickly separate animals from the herd to avoid contamination.
Analyzing climatic conditions
Weather sensors such as those from Smart Elements notify the manager about current conditions leading to more accurate decisions.
In recent years Agricultural drones, also called UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), have become a crucial part of smart farming. SenseFly builds drones that help farm managers in decreasing labor costs as they perform surveying tasks that previously required human labor. Drones are also effective for planting, spraying, monitoring, counting, etc.
Innovations in weather technology are helping to gather real-time information about greenhouse conditions. These greenhouse automation systems (GAS) adjust automatically to the requirements. Smart farming and IoT technologies are paving the way to a third green revolution. These are helping managers to make more informed and research-driven decisions while assisting managers in increasing the overall efficiency of the harvest and decreasing the use of pesticides.