Now more than ever, agriculture matters. The world population is surging, with some estimates showing that numbers could surpass 9.6 billion people by 2050. While this may be great for business, it could also trigger a world food shortage unless innovations are made to change the way we farm. Combined with climate change, there is plenty of pressure on the agricultural sector and the individual farmer to tackle these obstacles and find new ways of doing things.
This is where many are turning to the IoT (Internet of Things) for answers. In synergy with other technologies, the IoT can be utilized to maximize crop yields, minimize overall costs, guarantee consistent quality, optimize water usage, and mitigate the environmental impacts of farming. The IoT is changing the way we farm– let’s take a peek at the key ways in which agriculture is changing.
Improved Crop Management Strategies
Want to see the impact of IoT in agriculture? Look no further than improved crop management strategies. Crop management generally involves the measurement, observation, and control of crops/equipment. It utilizes data collected from air and soil studies as well as weather data. With IoT technology, farmers can utilize analytical models to make more informed decisions about crop transport, harvest times, rearing, and overall crop cultivation. This can allow farms to reduce crop failures by up to 25%.
Livestock proves an integral part of the agricultural food chain, which makes livestock management key. Managing livestock involves far more than simply tracking place of stay. With the IoT, a wide range of information is available to farmers, which allows them to obtain accurate information on livestock health, stress levels, reproductive data, and conception readiness.
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All of this leads to more efficient and animal-friendly livestock management practices. Additionally, data can provide information on the possibility of a disease outbreak, which can reduce medication usage and mitigate the likelihood of multi-resistant germ strains in livestock herds. ‘
Better Shipping Logistics
Believe it or not, more than 20% of the world’s food production is destroyed due to logistical transport errors and storage inefficiencies. These losses can occur at different points in the supply chain. Something as simple as a delay in transport or improper storage can lead to massive losses in food. Simply using IoT algorithms to monitor shipping logistics can reduce food waste due to logistical issues by 10 to 15% every year. This amount of food could feed the population of a small country for up to a year.
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Connecting Agriculture to the IoT
The IoT is changing the way we farm in so many ways. Of course, smart farming consists of multiple layers. Much like peeling away an onion, the IoT of farming involves device domain, network domain, and application domain.
These IoT devices must be made to withstand the harsh conditions of farming, including environmental factors, temperature fluctuations, dirt, wind, and storms. That means every IoT device will have to be specifically adapted to deal with the unique issues seen in agriculture. Luckily, there are plenty of IoT development services ready and willing to work in the agricultural sector.