The Internet of Things grows its influence on various aspects of our lives. Both business and everyday life are affected by IoT devices and networks. Various industries like healthcare, supply chain, real estate, education apply IoT solutions in their workflow. And agriculture isn’t an exception.
From the origins of farming, it went through a lot of transformations. As for now, agricultural entrepreneurs actively use IoT devices for various farming processes. According to Gartner’s research, the number of IoT agricultural devices will reach 225 million by 2024. In this post, we’ll figure out what makes farmers implement IoT in their workflow and what benefits they gain from new technologies.
The concept of smart farming
To understand industry trends, we need to clear up the concept of IoT farming. Basically, the implementation of smart technologies in agriculture can be divided into two different terms:
- AgriTech. This concept stands for the implementation of various software tools that improve the efficiency and overall workflow of agricultural businesses.
- Smart farming. This concept, also known as smart agriculture, implies the integration of IoT sensors and devices to the farm’s workflow. It influences a range of activities and increases the revenue of the company.
How does it work?
Smart farming systems gather data with the help of various sensors and process it automatically. Based on the output, devices perform farming activities autonomously or improve farmers’ decision-making process.
Advantages of smart farming
For now, you have an idea of how IoT devices can help agricultural businesses. Now, it’s time to know more about the concrete IoT business opportunities for farmers. Let’s roll.
Collecting, storing, and processing useful information
All IoT sensors for smart farming work in pair with computer software. Therefore, the data can be collected, stored, analyzed on users’ demand. Then, agricultural specialists can browse this data in the form of charts, tables, and so on. Due to these processes, experts can access valuable data in no time and make the right decisions.
A vast amount of data samples allows entrepreneurs to foresee various events. Thus, farmers can know how much wheat they can harvest before actual harvesting. This fact allows businesses to predict their revenue and adjust their expenses and minimize possible losses.
Due to processes automation, businesses can save money. Now employees won’t perform routine tasks, so they can perform other functions that require the human touch.
The reduction of human mistakes leads to improved product quality. Well-handled software products work with the help of precise algorithms that take into account all possible risks.
Smart farming use cases in agriculture
As we’re clear with the advantages that IoT brings to the farming business, it’s time to explain how IoT solutions can be implemented to farming processes.
With the help of IoT technologies, farmers can monitor the condition of their livestock and get access to various livestock-related data with the help of additional software.
Thus, farmers can monitor livestock health indicators, location, and more in just a few clicks. With this solution, farmers can mitigate the risks of epidemics. On top of that, companies can increase their revenue by automating ranching processes. Now, they don’t have to hire workers to track animals’ locations.
However, this use case has its issues. The main challenge is the placement of the sensors. You need to find the spot where the sensors will be safe from possible damage and won’t disturb animals. Also, you have to take care of the power source.
Nowadays, weather forecasts aren’t very precise for some reason. As the proverb says, “If you want something done, do it yourself”. That’s why a lot of farmers use IoT technologies to gather environmental data and get long-term forecasts of climate conditions. This smart farming approach allows farmers to pick the right crops and get the perfect planting timing.
This use case is similar to climate tracking. Farmers place sensors in the field to gather information about the crops’ condition. This data includes crop health, soil condition, humidity level, temperature, and so on.
With the help of this system, farmers can detect any crop-related anomalies and prevent negative environmental impact. Besides, the software stores data about the growth of each specific crop. So, it’ll be easier to understand the time to plant and harvest specific crops in the future.
Drones are a rising trend in various fields. However, agriculture is one of those niches where it can unlock its full potential. Drones can be used for watering and spreading pesticides on fields. For example, famous Drone manufacturer DJI has a drone that can fertilize 7-10 acres of field per hour.
Besides, depending on your goals, drones can be used for field monitoring. They can detect pests, crops in bad conditions, and so on. Finally, they can be used as a security measure to protect farms from intruders.
How to build an effective smart farming solution?
We’ve discussed everything about smart farming solutions except for the development process. So, what are the points that you need to consider during the development of the IoT farming system?
First off, you need to define a clear goal. When contacting a software development company, you need to set strict requirements. With blurry project specifications, developers and designers will waste more time, and the overall project price will grow.
The next stop is data transfer. Farming solutions send the data to servers, so they need a stable connection. To ensure this connection, you need to understand the travel distance between sensors and your data storage and decide on communication devices with your tech partner. Don’t forget that you need to power your devices. So, take care of power sources too.
The final stop is the frequency of data updates. A constant data transfer consumes a lot of power. This may be too expensive for small farms and agricultural companies. That’s why you need to decide how frequently you need to update the data to make IoT processes more cost-effective.Maybe you need to gather data once a day or even once a week to see the changes in crop health conditions. Everything depends on your goals and needs.
As you can see, smart farming solutions are a rising trend in agriculture that can significantly increase farmers’ revenue. There are various solutions that can satisfy all customers’ needs and comply with different budgets. However, to create software that brings concrete benefits to your business, you need to find a software development company with deep expertise in IoT solutions.