How is IoT used in Agriculture?

How is IoT used in Agriculture?

Agriculture is industrializing more and more. And it must. The world population was 3,7 Bn in 1970, 6,9 Bn in 2010 and expected to be at 9,5 bn in 2050. Where does all the food come from then? In 1900 1 farmer fed 4 people, in 1950 it raised up to 10 people. In 2012 1 farmer already fed 129 people. That means industrialization is taking place and must speed up till 2050. But how can we do that?

1. One way is improved growing conditions.

We already have high-resolution satellite images. Their deep analysis gives us a lot of hints where the soil is not used in the most optimal way. It is possible to recognize the humidity in the soil at a depth of 20cm. Out of the interpretation of colors of different plants, we can derive the plant growth, the maturity of the grain, and destruction from natural disasters. Drones can overfly fields at a much lower height. Equipped with cameras and sensors the inspection of the growing conditions on a specific field is now possible. The derived information can be used by the farmer to take appropriate actions, such as watering, fertilizing, and other rescue measurements. And that leads to better crop yields. Satellites and drones are simply another “Thing” in the Internet of Things.

2. The other way is efficient plant care.

Normally a lot of manual work must be done in order to take care of the plants and crops on a field. However, the newest robots’ technology is already available and being used to help the farmer reduce the amount of manual work. The areas of application are Individual plant care, Selected frequency spectrum, mechanical soil, and/or plant treatment. In a fully autonomous process these machines can monitor plant growth and plant healthiness, handling of individual plants, weed control, fertilization, leave/ fruit development, Irrigation, and chase away animals. And yet again, robots are just another “Thing” in the Internet of Things.

The Internet of things provides a lot of proven technologies to address the previously mentioned situation in agriculture and society.

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Jörg Schiller

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