IoT devices are already present in virtually every sphere of our lives - we are slowly getting used to the fact that even our vacuum cleaner or refrigerator is connected to the Internet. The growing trend includes connected sensors in industry, transportation and retail.
The IoT has been also introduced in the quite conservative agricultural market. Farmers are beginning to see the potential benefits of monitoring their crops and the state of the animals on the farm. BI Intelligence predicts that the IOT market in agriculture will grow 20% year-on-year in the upcoming years.
Meet 4 innovative solutions introduced to agriculture:
Honeybees are often underestimated, but it is thanks to them that we can harvest crops from plants. The production of 1/3 of food depends on bees. That is why hives monitoring is so important.
OSBeehives is one of the companies that helps beekeepers, by producing a special BuzzBox sensor. Thanks to the accurate measurements of temperature and humidity, you can get an idea of the state of the bee family.
The device also collects sound samples that bees produce. After careful analysis, the data can be used to obtain even more accurate diagnosis of the situation.
Remote monitoring is particularly important in this segment of agriculture - due to the specific needs of beekeeping manual control of the condition of the apiary is time-consuming and cumbersome. Remote monitoring saves time, advanced analysis allows farmers to detect changes that would normally be difficult to see at the right time.
Remote controlled tractors
Modern technology of autonomous vehicles can also be used in agriculture. The combination of GPS and artificial intelligence algorithms allows the construction of self-sufficient tractors. Fertilizing or spraying plants with pesticides can be much easier. Technology saves farmers' time and allows them to increase productivity. The ability to maintain larger areas with smaller human resources will positively affect food prices, which is crucial for an increasing population.
One of the companies that deals with the project of autonomous tractors is CNH.
Soil condition sensors
Currently, the usage of fertilizers and water in agriculture is often suboptimal. Fields are either too dry and poor in nutrients, or too moist and too fertilized. This is due to the use of the same amount of water and fertilizer for the whole field, but the soil can vary considerably in its composition in different places.
Soil condition sensors come in to help farmers measure pH, humidity and temperature. Proper use of this data allows them to plan irrigation and fertilization accordingly. Some estimates indicate that the drop in water use can reach up to 20% without harming the crop.
New technologies allow to measure such advanced parameters as the amount of chlorophyll in plants. This measure is a reflection of their health. Arable startup sensor is a great example of using this technology:
Drones or control from the air
Another example of how the IoT enters the agricultural sector is the usage of drones for crop monitoring. As mentioned earlier - the chlorophyll content in plants is a good determinant of their health. As it turns out, you can monitor this parameter from the air using advanced spectrophotometers installed on appropriate drone. Crop monitoring allows for an early detection of problems and damage reduction. One of the companies that is already implementing this idea is Agribotix. As the company points out - even 13% percent less losses in crops can be obtained thanks to their system.
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