Smartphones are now an important part of our society. They are used by a large number of people to perform various tasks, both personally and professionally. This is the case when it comes to Smart Farming, which allows farmers to manage their fields with sensors via their smartphones. In this article, we will answer the various questions you may have about the future of smart farming and its benefits.
What are the benefits of smart farming?
The cultivation of the land dates back to the beginning of time. In order to produce food resources, man has always had recourse to various possibilities. He first used draught animals, such as oxen or horses, to help with the work in the fields, and then invented machines (tractors, handling equipment, seeders, etc.) capable of replacing them. It is only since the end of the XXth century that a great evolution in the agricultural environment has appeared.
Today, the machines used by farmers are becoming more and more autonomous. Equipped with GPS, connected objects and sensors, the various equipment of farmers can now be controlled from their homes, from their phones.
The same goes for the control of their harvest, which can be done via sensors installed in the fields. In addition to providing precision farming, smart farming gives producers the ability to:
- to know the needs of their production thanks to sensors anchored in the ground;
- check and forecast the climatic conditions (temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind strength, etc.);
- Save water with an irrigation system;
- prevent diseases through planting characteristics and percentage of pesticide presence;
- monitor the quality of the product with sensors that indicate the taste qualities of the crops;
- calculate the ideal weight of fertilizer needed for the farms.
Farmers can have more free time, but also benefit from a better quality of products and an in-depth knowledge of the condition of their fields.
What are the future prospects for smart farming?
Smart farming or connected agriculture is an innovation that has been growing in popularity for the last six years. During the year 2020, the program “Horizon 2020” has set up a project to develop a digital platform gathering all the agricultural applications existing in all the European states.
The aim of this investment is to promote the inter-European digital exchanges inherent to precision agriculture practices and in particular to efficient farming methods. The challenges of smart farming are simple: to offer better productivity to farmers, who will be able, thanks to this technology, to optimize the yields of their crops and livestock, while considerably reducing the costs of raw materials such as fertilizers.
In addition, these systems could potentially generate new forms of income for the different actors, whether they are breeders or farmers. By 2025, there will be nearly 40 million smart farming devices worldwide, from plant and livestock applications to robots and farm machinery.
AI will play an even more important role in the economic and environmental performance of farms. Its recent developments, particularly in the area of deep learning and machine learning should provide the missing stone in the precision agriculture edifice since all the data produced by farms, thanks to the various IoT sensors in particular, will be able to feed numerous algorithms based on deep learning and machine learning technologies.
These algorithms allow farmers to optimize their daily activity through the automation of agricultural robots, real-time monitoring of their crops and animals, while improving their ecological footprint.