IOT IN AGRICULTURE: Smart Agriculture case
What is smart agriculture? The definition and market size
There are many ways to refer to modern agriculture. For example, AgriTech refers to the application of technology in agriculture in general.Smart agriculture, on the other hand, is mostly used to denote the application of IoT solutions in agriculture. So what is smart agriculture using IoT? By using IoT sensors to collect environmental and machine metrics, farmers can make informed decisions, and improve just about every aspect of their work – from livestock to crop farming.
For example, by using smart agriculture sensors to monitor the state of crops, farmers can define exactly how many pesticides and fertilizers they have to use to reach optimal efficiency. The same applies to the smart farming definition.
Although smart agriculture IoT, as well as industrial IoT in general, aren’t as popular as consumer connected devices; yet the market is still very dynamic. The adoption of IoT solutions for agriculture is constantly growing. Namely, COVID-19 has had a positive impact on IoT in the agriculture market share. Disruptions in the supply chain, and the shortage of qualified workers, has propelled its CAGR to 9,9%. In fact, as per recent reports, the smart framing market share is set to reach $6.2 billion by 2021.
At the same time, the global smart agriculture market size is expected to triple by 2025, reaching $15.3 billion (compared to being slightly over $5 billion back in 2016).Because the market is still developing, there is still ample opportunity for businesses willing to join in. Building IoT products for agriculture within the coming years can set you apart as an early adopter, and as such, help you pave the way to success.But why should you consider building an IoT application for agriculture in the first place?
There are many types of IoT sensors for agriculture as well as IoT applications in agriculture in general:
1.Monitoring of climate conditions
Probably the most popular smart agriculture gadgets are weather stations, combining various smart farming sensors. Located across the field, they collect various data from the environment and send it to the cloud. The provided measurements can be used to map the climate conditions, choose the appropriate crops, and take the required measures to improve their capacity (i.e. precision farming).
2. Greenhouse automation
Typically, farmers use manual intervention to control the greenhouse environment. The use of IoT sensors enables them to get accurate real-time information on greenhouse conditions such as lighting, temperature, soil condition, and humidity.
In addition to sourcing environmental data, weather stations can automatically adjust the conditions to match the given parameters. Specifically, greenhouse automation systems use a similar principle.
3. Crop management
One more type of IoT product in agriculture and another element of precision farming are crop management devices. Just like weather stations, they should be placed in the field to collect data specific to crop farming; from temperature and precipitation to leaf water potential and overall crop health.Thus, you can monitor your crop growth and any anomalies to effectively prevent any diseases or infestations that can harm your yield.
4. Cattle monitoring and management
Just like crop monitoring, there are IoT agriculture sensors that can be attached to the animals on a farm to monitor their health and log performance. Livestock tracking and monitoring help collect data on stock health, well-being, and physical location.
For example, such sensors can identify sick animals so that farmers can separate them from the herd and avoid contamination. Using drones for real-time cattle tracking also helps farmers reduce staffing expenses. This works similarly to IoT devices for petcare.
For example, use smart agriculture sensors (collar tags) to deliver temperature, health, activity, and nutrition insights on each individual cow as well as collective information about the herd.
Also known as precision agriculture, precision farming is all about efficiency and making accurate data-driven decisions. It’s also one of the most widespread and effective applications of IoT in agriculture.
By using IoT sensors, farmers can collect a vast array of metrics on every facet of the field microclimate and ecosystem: lighting, temperature, soil condition, humidity, CO2 levels, and pest infections. This data enables farmers to estimate optimal amounts of water, fertilizers, and pesticides that their crops need, reduce expenses, and raise better and healthier crops.
6. Predictive analytics for smart farming
Precision agriculture and predictive data analytics go hand in hand. While IoT and smart sensor technology are a goldmine for highly relevant real-time data, the use of data analytics helps farmers make sense of it and come up with important predictions: crop harvesting time, the risks of diseases and infestations, yield volume, etc. Data analytics tools help make farming, which is inherently highly dependent on weather conditions, more manageable, and predictable.