As the ease of internet connectivity expands into rural areas, it creates the opportunity to integrate Internet of Things (IoT) solutions into the agriculture industry. Applying IoT to agriculture could be a life-changer for our whole planet, especially humanity. In recent years, we have seen extreme weather, deteriorating soil, drying lands, collapsing ecosystems and Covid-19 complicate food production, our supply chain, and drive up food production cost.
THE BENEFITS OF TECHNOLOGY ON THE FARM
The ability to capture and collect data is key to growth in the agriculture industry. Data allows predictive analysis and machine learning to help farmers manage their farms through these extreme weather conditions. In addition, IoT analytics offers the following parameters: soil quality, temperature, and humidity. These parameters allow farmers to manage expenses, yield a higher output, and directly impact chemical runoff into our water systems. As a result, farmers will see improvement in control over internal processes and consequentially, lower production risk.
IoT-enabled agriculture allows farmers to monitor products and conditions in real-time. Through this real-time visibility, farmers can predict issues and make informed decisions ahead of time. Additionally, IoT solutions in agriculture introduce automation. For example, demand-based irrigation, fertilizing, and robot harvesting. Foresight into production output allows farmers to improve product distribution. In other words, if you know exactly how many crops you are going to harvest, you can make sure your product won’t lie around unsold.
The rapid growth of our global population has diminished land available for agricultural. It is estimated that by 2050 the world population will grow to 9.6 billion. In addition to this, climate change and food safety risks threaten our food supply. Depletion of scarce natural resources and the need to improve farm yield has become crucial for the agriculture industry and therefore, the world’s food supply. The changing composition of the agricultural workforce is an impeding problem for those in the agriculture industry. For many farmers in Europe, farming and agriculture has become a second job. However, the demand for each farm’s output is only growing. Therefore, the ability to streamline or more effectively manage a farm allows the farmer to better manage work-life balance.
THE ROLE OF IOT, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, AND DATA ANALYTICS IN AGRICULTURE
Smart Agriculture leverages IoT and plays a critical role in increasing agricultural productivity. By connecting farms through a common platform and providing them with knowledge exchange, storage, and review options, IoT technologies can solve agricultural problems and optimize output quantity and quality. LHP Europe provides solutions that combine data analytics and advanced processes. These solutions allow our agriculture Customer to make decisions that accelerate their performance across the agriculture and livestock industries in real-time. We also provide farmers real-time insight of local weather conditions – biomass levels, soil moisture, fertilizer usage, fence conditions, greenhouse gas condition monitoring, and much more. These insights give farmers the necessary knowledge to optimize their farm’s output.
LHP Europe’s Smart Farming solutions are designed to take the burden of managing a farm off the farmers shoulders. Firstly, real-time crop monitoring through smart sensors and imaging can provide real-time plant health monitoring and smart weed control. Secondly, farmers can manage water use through optimized irrigation and reduce pesticide use by focusing only on the necessary areas. Thirdly, real-time data provides farmers the ability to monitor the quality of their products and optimize time and resources.
The adoption of IoT solutions for agriculture is constantly growing. Covid-19 has made the need for IoT in the agriculture more urgent. Unfortunately, the shortage of qualified workers and disruptions in the supply chain have a ripple effect on the world. In sum, a more efficiently run farm means a lower impact on the supply chain, and ultimately, the world.
Smart agriculture is crucial to meeting future food needs of our growing population in the face of ever-increasing challenges posed by climate change.
Written by: Marylynn Glass – President and COO of LHP Europe