Smart farming uses the latest technological advances to improve productivity. Thanks to the IoT (or Internet of Things), farmers can finely control their operations and optimize their yields.
IoT technologies to make agriculture smarter
By placing an IoT sensor on each animal, ranchers can track the condition of their livestock in real time. This makes it possible to detect possible diseases affecting the herd at an early stage or to optimize the feeding of the animals.
IoT solutions can also be used to monitor soil condition and moisture. Using systems such as drones, it is possible to check the growth of plantations, plot by plot. With all this information, decisions on fertilization or irrigation are made with full knowledge of the facts. The uses of these data will eventually avoid the need for excessive amounts of inputs, which is both costly for the operator and deleterious to the environment.
Robots can even replace humans in performing certain tedious operations. An autonomous drone can thus spread phytosanitary products on the designated plots, avoiding the grower to be exposed to the products and allowing him to devote himself to other activities.
M2M sensors and SIM cards to optimize farms
Multi-operator SIM cards allow to concentrate all the information collected by the sensors in real time, without depending on a single cell phone network. This flexibility is particularly valuable in rural areas, which are often less well covered than urban areas. The farmer thus has an immediate overview of all the data available on his farm.
For example, technological developments allow a sensor to detect the imminence of an animal giving birth. Thus, the breeder will be ready to intervene to ensure that calving goes as smoothly as possible. Milking is already automated on many farms.
Thanks to the ever-increasing performance of these intelligent agricultural support systems, the farmer can anticipate potential problems instead of reacting after the fact.
How can IoT be implemented to move towards an agriculture capable of meeting the economic and environmental challenges of tomorrow?
By combining smart farming and big data, farms can use this digital innovation to improve their productivity. The predictive analysis of the data makes it possible to anticipate the yield of a year and to position oneself according to the volume that will be available at harvest time.
Digital transformation is a new asset for the success of a farm, all the more necessary as agriculture will have to feed a world population that will reach 8.5 billion people in 2030.