By 2025, nearly 20% of the human population will be affected by water scarcity. It will also influence the rest of the world’s population and economies and ecosystems.
With the rapid growth of population, the world will need to produce 70% more food in 2050, according to the UN Food & Agriculture Organization.
As a result of the declining agricultural workforce and the limited resources available, the IoT and Internet are becoming essential solutions to help farmers reduce the supply-demand gap.
Have you ever thought about applying the IoT concept to agriculture?
Smart agriculture is one of the industries with the most significant IoT potential.
Smart farming IoT technologies help farmers boost productivity while cutting down waste. It can also help farmers overcome several challenges by adopting new technologies such as robotics and automation to their agricultural practices.
Smart farm devices, robots or any other kind of automation will be a big help for those demanding daily farm tasks. These IoT devices will help you save time, or even better — they will do dangerous jobs in your place.
Automation can play a huge role in smart farming. It uses software and sensors to manage and monitor the farm’s process, helping farmers improve the quality of the products, lower the costs and increase the customer experience.
Have you heard about smart tractors?
Yes, the revolution has arrived at agricultural machinery, becoming increasingly technologically advanced.
Smart tractors are equipped with onboard controllers that can help increase productivity to make field routines more accurate and efficient. They can also control the number of seeds placed on the ground and monitor the application of fertilisers with high precision.
The use of drones, robots, smart sensors, and so many apps are just a few of the technologies available to help farmers enjoy the potential and benefits they offer.
How can drones help in smart agriculture?
The use of drones in farming is multiplying, transforming the agricultural industry into a more sustainable. This smart device is currently used in two possible ways in smart agriculture — tracking and distribution.
The tracking mode is used to help farmers understand the status, resources and productivity of their farms, in what concerns plants and livestock agriculture. Drone technology can help detect pests and much other soil and fertiliser problems.
On the other hand, drones can also be used for distribution. It is used to physically move resources around, including spreading agricultural chemicals, pesticides, fungicides, and fertilisers.
Drones are revolutionising the way individual farmers or companies organise daily operations. Many farms worldwide use this technology to analyse data in a few seconds and check how their crops perform.
Have you thought about using smart devices to increase your farm’s productivity?
Forget the Internet of Things. The Internet of Animals has arrived.
Animals also deserve to use the most technological devices, right?
Farmers are now starting to use wearable devices to monitor the health and productivity of their herds. These smart devices contain GPS trackers, cameras, glucose, temperature sensors and microphones and are becoming essential tools for modern farming operations. Livestock tracking helps farmers collect data on stock health, well-being and physical location.
Science and technology unite once again to help solve the same problem:
How to keep animals healthy in high-volume livestock operations.
What about climate change?
Climate changes are turning farmers’ lives upside down.
Good climate conditions are significant for farm animals. A proper smart ventilation system lets animals feel good and healthy because it monitors the temperature, humidity and air quality to the perfect dosage.
Some animals can go through heat stress during the hotter summer days, negatively affecting their growth. In winter, minimum ventilation is crucial to maintain the air quality. This makes the environment and air quality critical for the health of these animals.
Water — The most precious resource
IoT has many possible applications in water management and smart solutions that show their impact on the environment. A wide range of software and hardware instruments and systems monitor, control, and regulate water resources usage and quality, including sensors, meters, data processing, and visualisation tools.
One of the most popular applications is smart irrigation. With the help of this technology, it is possible to measure the quantity of water in plants to make sure they have the right amount for the best nutritional value. Artificial Intelligence algorithms analyse the data on the plants’ thirst, combined with the weather forecast and then calculate the ideal irrigation plan.
Automatic water management practices are becoming increasingly popular in smart agriculture. Distribution systems can benefit from environmental sensors and machine learning algorithms. Smart irrigation is a good example — sprinklers provide just enough water, depending on the data collected from soil moisture, air humidity, temperature and crop condition sensors.
Sensors have several applications in smart water management due to their incredible diversity. Sensors can measure the quality of raw catchment water, the chemical composition in the water after treatment, the pressure on the pipes in the distribution pipeline, and control the quantity in the storage reservoir. Sensor-based leak detectors can identify damages immediately and prevent waste of water resources. They can be used outdoors in farms or greenhouses. The data collected by these IoT water sensors can get critical insights into the changing conditions of water resources and equipment. They can take data-driven corrective measures on demand.
Smart meters and monitoring systems are other devices that measure real-time water consumption and help identify overly excessive usage and waste points. Using smart meters and monitoring systems can help predict future consumption and correct, current routines.
Smart water management must be incorporated in technological systems to have a good quality of life and health because they bring transparency and improved control to the whole water supply chain. Smart water systems with IoT and AI technologies can help stop or, at least, slow down these scary predictions from happening.
These examples prove how IoT can create more sustainable and innovative solutions for water management, making it smarter.
Smart water technology improves water quality by controlling the whole water supply chain from a freshwater reservoir to wastewater collecting and recycling.
Agriculture in 2050? Tell me more.
Our growing world population is demanding an increasing level of food production. This is why farms, especially smart ones, will be crucial in the future.
But what will they look like in less than 30 years?
Usually, people become farmers because it has been in the family. But this is becoming more and more outdated. In 2050, the number of ‘first-generation farmers’ will increase, and these people will be able to operate multifaceted businesses with new technology to improve farm efficiency.
The idea of what constitutes a farm will also change. There will be a growing interest in ‘vertical farming’ and controlled environment agriculture heavily dependent on technology.
Smart lightning-like LED will allow growers to develop light strategies tailored to the needs of each crop. Sensors will monitor temperature, moisture, humidity, colour, and size, providing outputs for Artificial Intelligence to make decisions on watering, ventilation, and harvesting caused by robots.
A controlled environment agriculture system can reduce some of the environmental impacts associated with modern farming. It will be possible to optimise resources such as water allowing year-round cultivation for farmers.
Automatic milking systems will help dairy farmers adopt a more flexible workday because it will no longer be mandatory to have a human presence.
The future of agriculture will rely on Agritech, in which sensors, monitors, machine learning, artificial intelligence, drones, and robots improve farming’s efficiency and profitability.
Nevertheless, automated machines and systems will always need a human operator to control them. Also, tomorrow’s farmers will have to learn other kinds of business such as technology, engineering or even marketing.
Are you ready for it?
IoT is changing the future of agriculture!
Farming is a challenge, and every farmer is looking for efficiency and learning how to manage complex processes.
With sensors, farmers can now monitor the field conditions from anywhere, check the soil and water quality, and locate or identify cattle in open fields with a drone! Smart greenhouses and analytics can also use IoT technology for tracking or geofencing the food and cattle!
If you’re a farmer, you know you need to start incorporating smart devices in your business to enjoy their full potential.