Over time, several technological innovations have been developed toincrease yields while facilitating the work of farmers, reducing costs and optimizing the use of natural resources. Today, the agricultural sector is further accelerating its transformation, driven by digitalization and the democratization of connected objects (IoT) and other sensors in the fields. We now speak of smart farming or intelligent agriculture.
Smart farming or smart agriculture: definition
The aim of this technology is to make the most of all the data collected by various tools, by converting them into real sources of information in order to then define ways of simplifying agricultural work. It also allows for accurate and predictive analysis of all situations that may affect the farms, such as weather conditions (temperature, humidity, etc.) and sanitary or economic situations, for example. This makes it easier to organize the supply of energy, water, livestock feed and fertilizer.
In its most advanced form, smart farming facilitates the exchange of information between different farms, creating a real network of connected farms accessible from a smartphone or a computer.
What is the context of this concept of smart farming?
Agriculture is undoubtedly one of the sectors most affected by the effects of climate change. Variations in heat or alternating dry periods with devastating floods will necessarily limit the natural productivity of the soil. They will also entail additional costs, starting with investment in irrigation systems in the driest areas or the purchase of additional feed for farmers.
However, the demand for food has never been so high in the history of mankind. The Earth will have 9.6 billion people in 2050, twice as many as in 1987.
In addition to this strong demographic increase, there is also the growing need for biofuels. In spite of these facts, the surfaces reserved for agriculture remain constant. It is therefore necessary to produce better and more.
What are the goals of smart farming?
Smart farming, or intelligent agriculture, is an evolution developed to achieve multiple objectives. It shall thus:
- improve soil and livestock yields;
- to pilot the operation: it will be necessary to collect as much information as possible (evolution of
- soil hygrometry, growth monitoring and treatment of plants with fertilizers or even
- geolocation of livestock);
- optimize energy and raw material supplies;
- facilitate the sharing of information within the network;
- reduce the ecological impact of agricultural activities in order to preserve the land for future generations;
- limit the number of time-consuming and/or low-value-added tasks.