The Internet of Things (IoT) influences our daily life immensely. It has enough potential to disrupt every industrial sector by offering benefits like real-time monitoring and the capability to manage remotely. With new technologies emerging and accepted by every industrial sector, it is not surprising that IoT devices have laid their claim on the agricultural world as well, offering a smarter way to precisely monitor livestock and crop growth patterns.
IoT in agriculture involves devices like soil sensors, cameras, weather stations, and other technological gadgets to gather information about farming operations. The collected data is sliced using algorithms or other software to turn it into useful insights. These insights can be about a vital nutrient missing in the soil, a potential threat from a pest, or the livestock animals’ general well-being.
With the ever-growing world’s population, the number of mouths to feed is also ever-increasing. In this scenario, employing IoT in agricultural practices is the most logical solution. Agriculture has always been with intensive physical labor and dependence on weather and other involuntary factors. Since the last few years, the sector has technologically advanced. There is the advent of drones for monitoring farm practices and a growing inclination towards smart farming methods.
Giving A New Dimension To Agriculture
Advanced technologies, including IoT, carry immense potential to transform the agricultural sector. The five primary ways to employ IoT to improve agriculture include the following:
IoT provides control over the internal farm operations, which lowers the related production risks. It gives an ability to estimate the production output, which further helps plan a mindful crop distribution.
Cost Management and Waste Reduction
Proper control and crop oversight help minimize the chances of crop overproduction, thus, reducing wastage. The ability to predict the gaps in crop growth and livestock health helps mitigate dampened yield risks.
Even the agriculture sector has tons of data collected by smart agriculture sensors, like weather conditions, soil quality, crop growth pattern, and cattle health track record. This data tracks a business’s progress, staff performance, equipment efficiency, etc.
Increased Product Quality and Quantity
The overall enhancement of farm operations helps to manage the entire production process and, at the same time, ensures better crop quality through automation techniques.
Increased Business Efficiency
This efficiency is because IoT has led to the automation of several processes. Using smart devices based on IoT, one can automate multiple farm operations, e.g., irrigation, fertilizing, or pest control.
Based on all of the benefits mentioned above, it is known that the infusion of IoT in agriculture is eventually leading to higher revenue generation.
Practical Applications of IoT in Agriculture
The dairy sector is also witnessing IoT as a disruption. One of its applications has come in wearable devices that collect health-related data by monitoring the cattle’s activity daily. Another device uses IoT to analyze the fat content of milk. All of that information is collected and analyzed to make decisions regarding the health of the animal.
Using IoT, the farmers are capable of monitoring their livestock’s health. It is useful in preventing the unwanted death of livestock animals. IoT-powered wearable devices, such as wearable smartwatches and fit-bit bands, are designed to monitor the heart rate, BP, overall health, etc. The owner is indicated about any abnormality. This information alerts the farmers about illnesses of the animal.
Monitoring weather conditions through IoT immensely benefits agriculture. IoT offers precision farming opportunities and contributes to multiple tasks smartly. The deployed sensor devices placed inside and outside of the field provides real-time weather condition data. They analyze this data to predict favorable weather conditions factors like humidity, rainfall, and temperature.
IoT allows weather stations to automatically adjust weather conditions as per the specific set of instructions to make smart greenhouses. IoT sensors provide real-time information regarding various greenhouse conditions such as temperature, lighting, humidity, and soil quality. Adopting IoT for designing greenhouses minimizes human intervention, increases its accuracy, and makes the whole process cost-effective.
Monitor Grain Storage
Grain storage is an essential aspect of the crop production supply chain. A sensor can detect the conditions in a grain storage container, then transmit data about fill levels, temperature and humidity in the storage facility to avoid spoilage or other problems multiple times during a day.
Pests are a real challenge on farms. This menace requires consistent actions to overcome its adverse impact on crops. IoT holds great potential in this regard, and it lets farmers address crop safety challenges with more precision. These are IoT-enabled sensors that monitor the damage caused by pests in real-time. To avoid situations such situations in the first place, farmers are adopting IoT-powered smart pest devices. AI algorithms also assist in pulling the sensor data and also information regarding weather conditions. This additional knowledge helps with more precise pesticide applications.
Precision farming is about making accurate and efficient data-based decisions. It makes the agriculture process more precise and controlled by realizing smart applications, including vehicle tracking, livestock monitoring, inventory monitoring, field monitoring, etc. With precision farming, a farmer can evaluate soil conditions and other parameters that affect operational efficiency. It helps find the connected IoT devices’ real-time working conditions to determine the nutrient and water level.
Drones are increasingly being used to monitor farmland. They help identify problems and thereby improve the overall yield in another growth area.
Undoubtedly, technology is transforming our lives in several ways. From the innovations in farming types of equipment to implementing technologies like IoT for improved production, advancement leads to the agricultural sector. It has made labor-intensive tasks like monitoring the field more effortless than before. The farm managers now constantly monitor the livestock’s health and the quality of crops accurately using IoT. IoT-enabled wearable devices are indeed a good initiative to transform the field and livestock management processes.