In recent years, the internet of things (IoT) has disrupted major industries like manufacturing and healthcare. Now, this technology is being used to improve the efficiency and profitability of the farming industry. In just the United States, the agriculture industry makes up $1.053 trillion of the gross domestic product (GDP). In 2017, agriculture accounted for 5.4 percent of the GDP.
Thanks to IoT, the connected farming market is growing. By 2023, this connected marketplace is supposed to be worth $4.3 billion. Each year, this market is expected to grow by 19.3 percent. To help agricultural companies achieve their goals, companies like Davra are working with industry leaders to create technological solutions to modern problems.
The Advantages of Using the IoT for Farming
Over the next few decades, the agricultural sector has to deal with challenges like climate change, extreme weather and rising energy costs. Even the challenges facing the agriculture industry will grow, farmers will also have to feed more people than ever before. By 2050, the global population is expected to hit 9.6 billion.
From the creation of the tractor to drip irrigation, new technology has made it easier for farmers to produce more food with less effort. Today, the IoT makes it possible to boost farming production at a surprisingly low cost. According to some estimates, the number of connected devices in agriculture will grow to 225 million by 2024.
Through technology and the IoT, farmers do not have to apply fertilizers, pesticides and water across all of their fields. Instead, technology makes it possible to treat different areas and plants differently. With IoT, companies can enjoy benefits like better crop productivity and improved worker safety. They can use less fertilizer, water and pesticides. Because farmers can decrease the fertilizers and pesticides they use, there is less runoff into groundwater and rivers. This results in a lower impact on the ecosystem.
Unlike humans, robots and IoT are far more reliable when it comes to monitoring water quality and natural resources. This means you can enjoy having a more efficient production process and lower prices. You can reduce your environmental impact and create safer foods. Ultimately, the IoT gives you more control over your production, distribution, processing and storage processes.
How Can You Use the IoT in Farming?
The IoT can be used in a variety of ways. For example, you can add sensors to your farm equipment or wearable devices to your cattle. After you install them, the sensors will allow you to harvest data from your operations so that you can instantly see where your cattle are located. If you put sensors on your machines, you can prevent breakdowns and unexpected costs because you can tell when maintenance work has to be done.
The IoT also helps the agricultural industry through artificial intelligence. Once you have sensors and a network set up, you can harvest a huge amount of data. Then, artificial intelligence will sift through the data to look for valuable information. Artificial intelligence can also help through drone surveying and automated robots. In some cases, you may be able to replace some of your labor costs with robotic workers instead.
Through the IoT, you can adopt precision agriculture techniques. This smart farming option allows you to track vehicles, manage your inventory and monitor your livestock with the touch of a button. You can use precision farming to analyze the information as it comes in from your sensors so that you can make intelligent decisions. Depending on your operations, you can use this technique for irrigation management, soil analysis or other activities.
With the IoT, you can monitor real-time weather conditions. You can install sensors inside and outside of your fields. Then, these sensors collect data from the environment about the area’s rainfall, humidity and temperatures. If anything unusual appears in the data, the system sends you an automatic alert so that you can respond to the changes.
With an IoT platform, you can get cloud-based data storage to hold all of the data your system generates. By collecting data on a large scale, you can use to it create meaningful analyses of livestock, crop or weather conditions. Then, this data lets you improve the quality of your products and the fertility of your land.
The IoT can be added to greenhouses to create weather stations and enable automated adjustments. When climate conditions change, the IoT can automatically adjust without human intervention. Plus, sensors can help you monitor things like water consumption and light levels.
With the IoT, you can use aerial and ground drones to monitor things like planting, crop spraying, crop health and crop monitoring. After they are installed, sensors can monitor how healthy your crops are after they have started growing. Smart drones can reduce the number of chemicals that make it into the groundwater, so you can reduce your impact on the environment.
In the future, the farming industry will be able to adopt even more IoT devices and techniques. Satellites and better cellular networks will make it possible to use the IoT in more operations than ever before. The impact of the IoT in farming is significant for an industry that operates on low margins. Connected sensors could reduce water consumption by 30 percent. Meanwhile, precision technology can decrease costs by around 15 percent.
Through the IoT solutions at Davra, you can improve the efficiency of your operations, lower your impact on the environment and reduce your overall costs. Get in touch with the team at Davra to find out more.