Smart Agricultural Solution Market: The Creation of Smart Farms
Smart Agricultural Solution Market: The Creation of Smart Farms
Intelligent tech solutions are being widely introduced in the agriculture industry. We’ll see a ubiquitous integration of connected farms powered by the Internet of Things.
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According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization survey, by 2050, the population is expected to increase to 9.1 billion, so the world will require producing 70% more food in 2050 compared to 2006 to feed the fastly-growing population.
An estimated one in nine people suffer from chronic undernourishment, and that’s a problem. Quantity reduction of fertile land, climate change, high energy cost — all of this makes the production of sufficient food quite difficult.
That’s why today, the agriculture industry is becoming much more important. To meet the world’s food demand, increase yield, reduce operating and labor costs, and improve workflow, agricultural companies invest in developing IoT solutions and smart farming initiatives.
There are many IoT applications that can solve various tasks and challenges, including those for remote equipment monitoring, climate and water control in greenhouses, livestock tracking, crop monitoring, predictive maintenance, and much more. Intelligent technologies are most actively introduced into small-scale field ambulance, livestock, and fishery.
IoT-based solutions — involving drones, sensors, smart devices, IoT platforms, and unmanned vehicles — compose the current smart agricultural market.
Being a great innovative technology, agricultural drones have been gaining popularity and being introduced in many industries. For today, the use of drones in agriculture is one of the most promising application areas.
They can be effectively used to plan and manage all agricultural production stages, as well as for the chemical treatment of crops and other plants. Drones enable farmers to receive up-to-date advanced information when they need it. In addition, the information accumulated over a long period allows farmers to analyze the processes in dynamics.
Agricultural drones can replace humans in different operations, thus automating workflow and increasing performance. They take high-resolution photographs to find out parasitic crop damage, monitor crop inventory, and analyze the soil. Also, drones can be used for identifying farm-borne diseases in livestock and improving the food supply.
Another example is the use of drones to analyze the captured mapping images using a smartphone and 3D field models. Imagine a solution that enables farmers to estimate yields and collect and store data for further analysis, as well as shows potential problems (with 3D maps) and areas where their crops require attention.
Drones are also used for collecting landing information sufficient to accurately apply pesticides and herbicides where chemicals are needed. Therefore, farmers get the opportunity to save costs on the chemistry usage while preserving the environment.
Other applications include flying around fields to monitor the work of employees, field monitoring for the detection of animals caught in the territory, and monitoring the location, use, and health of agricultural machinery.
Drones are also used for detailed mapping of farms, allowing farmers to make successful management decisions based on data specific to each zone. Lightweight and inexpensive drones can be equipped with compact multispectral sensors that measure key indicators characterizing crop health, aridity levels, nitrogen deficiency, and so on.
Sensors and Smart Devices
Sensors and smart devices play an important role in the creation of smart farms. Placed on agricultural equipment and machinery, a large network of sensors can collect data about location, temperature, energy consumption, and health conditions and continuously transmit information on the status of controlled objects to a special monitoring center where it’s stored and analyzed.
Imagine thousands of smart devices, sensors, and machines intelligently communicating with each other: sensors track machinery “health” and maintain their performance, diagnose potential problems, instantly alert farmers about arising issues, and even order repairs when needed.
With the help of blockchain — in particular, Ethereum smart contracts — farmers can integrate the system with written into the code instructions of the way it should work. Also, by using blockchain together with the Internet of Things, farmers can ensure an immutable record of all data collected by IoT devices, safe data storage, and secure transactions.
Other areas where IoT devices are successfully used are crop monitoring, livestock tracking, climate control in greenhouses, and water conservation management.
Concerning trends in smart agriculture, unmanned vehicles are among the main and most important ones. Already now, analysts predict they will become the basis for connected farming. There are a lot of advantages that unmanned vehicles can provide farmers. First and foremost, they will eventually allow the automation of all agricultural activities, including land cultivation, plant health monitoring, crop collection/storage, and more.
Companies are offering services for deploying specialized software on IoT platforms capable of intelligent processing of data collected with by sensors. Many experts believe that the future of connected agriculture is precisely behind IoT platforms.
In this case, the main value for the market will be represented by specialists able to make successful decisions on the further development of farmland on the basis of gathered and analyzed information.
Let’s consider, for example, an IoT platform that supports work with various types of data sources, from simple sensors and local controllers to serious computing modules. The platform effectively interacts with various industrial and communication technologies, protocols, and interfaces. Using artificial intelligence, it provides farmers with effective data management and predictive analytics capabilities.
At the moment, intelligent tech solutions are being widely introduced in the agriculture industry. Soon, we’ll see a ubiquitous integration of connected farms powered by the Internet of Things and other innovative technologies. For farmers, it means new business opportunities and cost savings.
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