Smart Enhanced Agriculture and I o T: What Is It and Will It Work?

In true Terminator fashion, software and intelligent computing has worked its way into virtually every consumer application and industry on the planet. The agriculture business is no exception, and it represents one of the industries with the most to gain from I o T technology. But just what is I o T technology?

I o T diagram

According to Wikipedia, The Internet of things (stylised Internet of Things or IoT) is the internetworking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices”), buildings and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data. This concept provides an invaluable tool for farmers and those that make a living in agriculture.

Farmer

Agriculture has always had a long list of challenges, including water shortages, limited land resources, weather concerns, operational costs and the road bumps associated with an industry that is very much at the mercy of supply and demand. Advances in I o T technology have allowed farmers to address these challenges head on, and the results have been promising.

Using electronic sensors, farmers are now able to remotely and accurately measure soil moisture levels, and that data can then be transmitted to automated irrigation systems, reducing costs of labor and enhancing the quality of the crops harvested. The same concepts are used in monitoring things such as livestock feed levels and health, allowing for the most logistically (and financially) sound decisions possible with regards to these areas of the farm. Data such as weather conditions can be pulled from 3rd party resources and combined with artificial intelligence to exponentially enhance the decision making process used by agriculture professionals.

automated farming

The benefits of I o T technology and the agriculture business aren’t just limited to crop and animal applications either. I o T can also be used to maximize efficient energy use in structures and operating systems. Data can be collected and crunched so that only necessary systems are running at any given time. Advances in automation combined with I o T can result in the remote scheduling of tasks that previously required one or more personnel to accomplish.

Using I o T in the agriculture business opens a very large door for the farming industry, and the result is a snowball of savings that can easily be followed down to the individual consumer. Technology often gets a bad rap, but this is one area where it truly shines.