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The Internet of Things (IoT) has taken the world by storm and the agriculture industry isn’t an exception. In recent years, agricultural IoT is helping agrochemical, biotech, and farmers solve big problems that were left unresolved for decades.
Agricultural IoT uses powerful cloud computing technologies such as sensors, Big Data intelligence, and artificial intelligence (AI) to enable smart farms. IoT leverages smart devices and powerful analytical capabilities to process huge swathes of data in a relatively short time to enable connected farms.
The interfacing of physical IoT devices like sensors, cameras with micro-controllers, raspberry pi with embedded software protocols like wi-fi, near field communication (NFC), and radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies allow farmers to digitally monitor and manage their farming operations and build robust farming infrastructure.
For many years now, IoT-based smart villages around the world have been using agricultural IoT capabilities to automate the supply of water for irrigation systems or monitor the health of plants in agricultural farms.
In the future, the widespread use of IoT is projected to enhance the efficiency of connected farms, influence public policies, contribute to research, and lead to groundbreaking innovation in the field of agriculture.
Despite the rising popularity of IoT in agriculture, the majority of farms across the world still depend on traditional methods of farming like crop rotation, manual irrigation, water harvesting, and intercropping.
Apart from low yields and low-quality produce, the conventional farming processes also affect the productivity of the farmers in an agribusiness. The centuries-old techniques don’t usually factor in environmental considerations, which affect the ecology of the local farmland and create a ripple effect in the economy in the respective country.
The modern farming environment is highly dynamic and has enormous complexities that can’t be overcome with archaic methods.
The introduction of IoT in agriculture has largely been appreciated, but it hasn’t gone without problems. The adoption of smart IoT technologies is still a challenge for most farmers and agritech businesses.
Like any other industry—the application of IoT in the farming world faces the usual issues of scalability, self-configuration, interoperability, software complexity, data storage, and security.
The biggest obstacles that IoT faces in the agricultural space are lack of awareness about IoT’s benefits, high cost of adoption, and data security threats.
Agricultural IoT is a still-emerging concept for farming businesses, but it has the potential to disrupt the ancient agricultural practices that don’t offer much benefit.
Agricultural IoT leverages data, exchange of information across smart embedded devices, and easily optimizable techniques to improve the quality of farm produce.
IoT solutions can help farmers close the supply-demand gap in the context of world hunger. Agricultural IoT uses resources smartly to enable precision agriculture—a technique by which farmers can reduce operational costs, maximize profitability, ensure high crop yields, and make a positive impact on the environment.
The use of IoT-specialized equipment, wireless technology, and automated IT solutions can help farming businesses remotely monitor crop health and employ timely action to improve yield quality.