Role of IoT in Agriculture

By CIOReview | Monday, January 15, 2018

The severity of global population and climate change necessitates the application of IoT in agriculture. Smart farming comprises application of modern ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) for clean and sustainable growth of food for the masses. IoT application is pro-environmental and also has the potential to encourage transparency in farming while boosting organic and family farming beyond conventional farming practices. Specific applications of IoT in agriculture include:

• Precision Farming uses IT, satellites, sensors, control systems, robotics, variable rate technology, and more to enhance control and accuracy in cultivation and raising livestock. For instance, CropMetrics provides Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI) optimization, soil moisture probes, virtual optimizer PRO, and more to maximize yield and conservation of resources.

• Smart Greenhouses utilize greenhouse farming with IoT technologies such as cloud server, automated irrigation and different sensors (for e.g. solar powered IoT sensors) to intelligently enhance yield of crops, with lower manual and monetary cost. The sensors can also enable Wi-Fi- linked actuators to control lights, heaters, misters or fans.

• Livestock Monitoring with IoT enables farmers to monitor and manage the health and location of their livestock. For instance, cow monitoring solutions are offered by JMB North America.

Agricultural aerial and ground-based drones are being used on farms for time-effective and productive crop monitoring, spraying and health assessment, soil analysis, irrigation, and even planting. The drone also collects data about canopy cover, field water drainage and weed pressure mapping, chlorophyll and nitrogen content levels in crops, and more. For instance, PrecisionHawk utilizes drones for its various uses.