Current UN forecasts predict that the world population is expected to reach 2050 billion by 9,7. This is an increase of 24% to the current 7,9 billion. Global agricultural production will also have to increase in order to continue to meet demand. Unfortunately, conventional farming methods are not suitable to meet this demand. It has therefore become necessary to innovate to develop solutions that can address these pressing problems.
In agriculture a lot is invested in innovation. The Netherlands has traditionally been a forerunner in this field. Optimal crop growth and savings on fertilization and energy consumption are important pillars. For this reason, the Westland (in The Netherlands) is always open to smart and new ideas. For example, energy sharing already takes place with a so-called heat roundabout; Hot water from the port industry is used to heat the greenhouses.
Horticulture is connected in more areas by smart techniques. Sensors monitor the humidity of the air and soil and are linked to adjustment systems (such as irrigation). This accumulated knowledge is shared and applied where necessary in open field agriculture. Here there is also a link to weather forecast information. Everything is put into service to allow crops to grow optimally. Precision agriculture ensures better yields, lower costs and sustainability of crops. Very important now that the revenues are only decreasing and costs are increasing.
Technologies and IoT have the potential to transform agriculture in many ways. This transformation can improve agriculture in several ways:
Below we discuss five important IoT developments in agriculture with you.
By giving plants and animals the right treatment, it can come to fruition. Precision agriculture using the Internet of Things can play an essential role in this. Smart farming makes it possible to determine what needs to be done per square meter or per plant or animal. Compared to traditional agriculture where production per field is optimized, precision agriculture can be used much more accurately. The Internet of things connects all kinds of smart technologies that farmers can use to grow fields smarter and easier. Such as ICT, drones, robots, sensors, GPS equipment and artificial intelligence.
Surveying crops on foot to collect data on yield, fertilizer needs, water levels and soil conditions is time consuming and sometimes imprecise. For this reason, the move to autonomous drones to quickly and accurately capture crop images and automatically send them to headquarters. This allows farmers to make accurate remediation decisions that prevent small problems from turning into big problems.
Weather stations are also popular within the agricultural sector. Various smart agricultural sensors are combined within these weather stations. Spread across the field, they collect various data from the environment and send it to the cloud. The measurements provided can be used to map the climatic conditions, select the appropriate crops and take the necessary measures to improve their capacity.
The combination of soil sensors and cloud-based data analytics enables farmers to monitor soil moisture, allowing farmers to determine when to irrigate. Connected systems automatically start and stop the watering process, saving not only valuable resources but also avoiding overwatering.
Another type of IoT product in agriculture and another element of precision farming is crop management devices. Like weather stations, these must be placed in the field to collect data specific to crop cultivation; from temperature and precipitation to leaf water potential and overall crop health.
Many in agriculture are using smart greenhouses to remove the weather as an obstacle to higher yields and to promote responsible energy consumption. These greenhouses can be equipped with solar-powered IoT sensors, which can help control the environment and water consumption. Sensors can also help save energy by monitoring and controlling temperature, humidity and light levels. Whether it's activating this or controlling the thermostat in the greenhouse, IoT helps to reduce the ecological footprint of this agricultural method.
While IoT applications offer real-time benefits that address current needs, arguably the biggest benefit is the data collected by IoT-enabled sensors. By collecting and analyzing IoT-captured insights, farmers have the blueprint to spot inefficiencies that they might not have seen otherwise.
Get started with your own agricultural IoT application
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