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7 IoT Solutions For Precision Agriculture

  • Manisha Sahu
  • Aug 07, 2021
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Internet of Things (IoT) has enabled the development of smart wearables and connected devices as well as automated machines and driverless vehicles. However, the IoT has had the greatest impact on agriculture. Many industries, including infrastructure, automotive, and retail, are abuzz with talk about the Internet of Things (IoT).


(Related blog - What is IoT)


Yet, precision agriculture is one of the most important IoT applications, despite its relative rarity. As our planet is on the verge of a food crisis, these new technological innovations to increase yields could save lives. Predicting natural conditions and reacting to them as quickly as possible is essential for farming's efficiency and profitability. In the past, such forecasts were less precise than they are today, thanks to real-time data availability.


A new direction in farming, this application is being driven by the Internet of Things, and it's working out well. In this blog, we will discuss how IoT technologies can be used to improve data collection quality and precision agriculture. 



What is precision agriculture?


Precision agriculture, satellite farming, and site-specific crop management (SSCM) is farming management concepts that focus on observing, measuring, and responding to crop variability both in the field and between fields. Researchers are working to develop an integrated decision support system (DSS) for farm management that maximizes returns on inputs while protecting resources.


Thanks to technological advancements, precision agriculture is now possible for both small and large-scale agricultural businesses alike. However, this trend has its origins in the 1990s and is only now becoming widespread. Farmers were able to gather datum and steer equipment automatically when GPS satellites were first adopted. Sensors, aerial devices, stationary IoT solutions for precision agriculture, and so on, are among the technologies that allow farmers to gather more precise data.


(Related blog : 7 Applications of IoT in Agriculture



IoT Solutions for Precision Agriculture


The question is: how do we do it? Farmers and food producers in the industry must embrace the digital transformation trends that are occurring in agriculture. In the future, we'll be able to take agriculture to new heights, thanks to the use of technology as a sustainable, scalable resource. Those are just a few of the most common and effective ways to use IoT in precision agriculture. In addition to being affordable to develop and easy to maintain, these tools also offer a great deal of insight.


  1. IoT and Sensors in the Field


It's a good disruption. In fact, the IoT has enormous potential in the food industry. The Internet of Things (IoT) alone is estimated to be worth $14.4 trillion, according to a report by Cisco. Sensors on equipment and materials are enabling the Internet of Things to simplify and streamline the collection, inspection, and distribution of agricultural resources.


Field sensors, combined with image recognition technology, allow farmers to monitor their crops from any location. Real-time information is sent to farmers by these sensors, allowing them to make crop adjustments accordingly. As a result, farmers benefit from IoT sensors deployed in the field, which result in higher food production with less waste—exactly what this industry requires.



  1. IoT and Sensors in Equipment


In a similar vein, sensors are being installed on agricultural equipment to track the machine's health and more. Tractors and other farming equipment are being manufactured with navigation systems and a variety of sensors under the term "precision agriculture." Some of these sensors are GPS-enabled, allowing them to compensate for terrain irregularities. In the cab of some implements, yield mapping and harvest documentation are built-in functions. While others keep track of when the tractors need to be serviced, you're on your own. Machine downtime is being reduced by these sensors working in concert.



  1. Drones and Crop Monitoring


The only way farmers have been able to get a bird's eye view of their fields is from a plane. What would happen if farmers could see their crops from the air without needing to charter a plane? Imagine the return on investment. To combat drought and other environmental factors, crop monitoring drones are widely used. In order to maximize the efficiency of precision agriculture technology, crop monitoring devices are required. 


(You can also take a look at our blog on Technologies to improve Agriculture Analytics)


These devices are typically placed in the field, where they monitor water levels, crop health, and other biochemical and physical properties that are relevant to the situation. Using crop monitoring tools, a farmer can manage anomalies proactively, build models and strategies based on predictions, and prevent potentially harmful diseases.



  1. Livestock monitoring 


Drones can monitor cows, bulls, and other animals that graze on grassland, reducing the need for humans to do so. Drones can locate lost farm animals, detect wounded or sick animals, and calculate their exact numbers using thermal sensor technology. It is possible to produce better cattle monitoring by using drones (cows, bulls, etc). All the while, they do not cause any stress to the animal and provide farmers with real-time insights.

The images show IoT solutions for precision agriculture. They're  - IoT and sensors in the field - IoT and sensors in equipment - Drones and monitoring - livestock monitoring - Farming and robotics - RFID sensors and tracking  - smart farming and automation in greenhouse management.

IoT Solutions for Precision Agriculture

  1. Farming and Robotics


Robotics in agriculture would improve productivity and result in higher and faster yields, just as it does in other industries that use robots and artificial intelligence.


(Related blog - Robotics with IoT)


Agrochemical use can be reduced by 90 percent with the help of robots like the spraying and weeding robots John Deere recently acquired. Others are experimenting with laser and camera guidance for weed identification and removal without human intervention. These robots can use the guidance to navigate between rows of crops on their own, reducing the amount of manpower required to do so behind the machine. 



  1. RFID Sensors and Tracking


RFID sensors can be used to track food from the field to the store after crops have been harvested. This means that the consumer, or end-user, will be able to track the food they consume from its source farm all the way to the point where it was purchased. Due to the increased reliability of manufacturers and their responsibility to provide fresh goods, this technology has the potential to increase consumer trust in manufacturers.


Not that it would prevent E.Coli or other harmful bacteria outbreaks, but if there were an outbreak, it would be easy to trace the produce back to the farm or factory where it was processed. Epidemics and panic could be reduced with RFID sensors on all crops.


Consumers' concerns about allergens and health requirements could be eased by these tracking systems. It's a relief to the farmer to know that their goods are being tracked. It is after all their responsibility to make sure that their products reach their consumers in a safe state.



  1. Smart farming


Agriculturalists strive to produce enough healthy food to feed the entire world's population. Because of the rapid growth of the world's population, certifying food security is a very important issue to address. Soil moisture monitoring or supervision, conservational conditions, stream and self-control or control device management are all applications that are needed for farming harvests.


(You can also take a look at our blog on Technologies to improve Agriculture Analytics)


Sensors are used in IoT-based smart farming to monitor the crop's performance and to automate irrigation and rinsing. From anywhere, farmers can monitor everything from weather conditions to soil quality. When used in conjunction with a conservative approach, IoT-based smart farming is highly efficient.



5 Inventions To Revolutionize Precision Agriculture


With so much interest in IoT implementation in agriculture, it's no surprise that there are so many impressive innovations. The following list of farming inventions shows how far the Internet of Things has come:


1. Global positioning systems


Neither GPS nor agriculture is new invention. In spite of this, its impact on farming is undeniable — from tracking field operations to scanning the location of your equipment and animals. Unquestionably, GPS was instrumental in establishing modern precision agriculture, and it is still one of the most widely used technologies in field management, as well as in precision farming today.


2. Yield monitors


This invention, which dates back to the 1990s, helps farm managers quantify yield variations across a field and determine the catalysts for such fluctuations (soil fertility, weather, differences in crop management, and so on). GPS and sensors enable yield monitors to provide deep insights.

The image depicts Precision farming inventions. It's no surprise that there are several impressive innovations, given the high level of interest in IoT implementation in farms.

Precision Farming Inventions

3. Automated planter controls


Using this technology, site managers can monitor and control the planting process remotely. In areas where crops have already been planted, special systems will automatically turn on and off planters. Seed waste is reduced as a result of using this technology, which improves planting efficiency and decreases planting time.



4. GIS software


Geospatial Information Systems(GIS) give farmers the ability to aggregate data in an appealing visual format. By generating custom color-coded maps, the tool provides a complete picture of soil conditions, crop fertility, insect or disease pressure, and more. GIS tools collect data that would be impossible to see with the naked eye.



5. Irrigation control systems


Irrigation monitoring has come a long way as a result of precision agriculture in IoT. A manager can now receive real-time alerts in the event of anomalies, and a dedicated irrigation system can distribute the exact amount of water that a given crop requires. As a result, a site manager reduces the number of workers and water and energy waste.



Benefits of IoT in precision agriculture


Let's take a look at the benefits of implementing IoT in precision agriculture to get a better idea of the potential of IoT in agriculture.

The image depicts the benefits of implementing IoT in precision agriculture, they're: - insights on the state of the farm - reduced resource waste - identifying and developing patterns and trends -getting advanced field data from connected UAV's and - Better control over internal processes

Benefits of implementing IoT in precision agriculture


  • Insights on the state of the farm


A farmer will receive a multifaceted analysis of all the processes those who supervise, including crop and cattle management, weather conditions, soil quality, staff performance, and so on. This will allow for a more complete picture of the site's progress and development.


(Related blog - Weather Forecasting)


  • Reduced resource waste


As a result of the Internet of Things in agriculture, operating costs and production risks are decreased. You'll be able to develop smarter distribution strategies and outline potential revenue streams by accurately estimating the yield volumes that will be harvested at each field.


  • Identifying developing patterns and trends


A site manager will eventually be able to determine which risks or natural conditions are likely to recur the following year by gaining insight into all types of crops, across all fields, throughout the entire season. Farmers will be able to predict which crops will be profitable in the future by analyzing the yield by crop type.

The image depicts identifying developing patterns and trends. By analyzing the yield by crop type, farmers will be able to predict which will be lucrative in the years to come.

Identifying developing patterns and trends

  • Getting advanced field data from UAVs connected to a network


Hyperspectral and multispectral sensors on unmanned aerial vehicles (also known as drones) help farmers assess the health of plant leaves and measure water stress levels. They also help with disaster management and risk reduction, among other things.


  • Better control over internal processes


Site managers can update farmers on the state of the field in real-time using IoT monitoring technologies, track their performance, and share insights and approaches that teams in different fields use.


(Recommended blog: IoT in smart city)


Using IoT in precision agriculture improves monitoring of farms and fields as well as cattle as well as risk management, planning, and risk assessment. It has a wide range of cheaper and more ambitious technologies to offer and covers nearly all aspects of running an agricultural business.





Farming is about getting in touch with the earth around us.


M.S. Swaminathan says, " If agriculture goes wrong, nothing else will have a chance to go right.”


Therefore, to give farmers more control over the field and the team of workers in it, precision agriculture uses data sensors, connected devices, remote control tools, and other advanced technology. The only systematic approach to the development of the Internet of Things is to have a clear understanding of the concept of natural intelligence (IoT).


When it comes to agricultural communication, the internet of things is typically a useful weapon. Precision farming has been proposed as a solution to this problem for many years by agriculture intelligence experts in agriculture.


The discussion above highlights the importance of data analytics in Precision Agriculture with IoT. It sheds light on the current state of agricultural practises, as well as the most recent technologies developed to improve them.

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