Harvesting a Smarter Future

Why IoT has the potential of reaping huge rewards in the agriculture industry

The evolution of technology through the years has been remarkable. If you roll back to a decade or two ago and replay the years in a time-lapse, you would be amazed at the things mankind has achieved. Today, something as unique as interlinked devices relaying data between them is a reality. Indeed, IoT is now a mainstay that is sure to impact your life in more ways than one in the near future. It has a hand everywhere and helps bring bread to the table in a far easier and less cumbersome manner than before.

Which brings us to the topic of the day; IoT could literally have an enormous say on how mankind puts bread on the table. The agriculture industry predates even technology. IoT is that breakthrough that could potentially change the way we look at agricultural production activities throughout the farm to food continuum.

Smart farming and integrating IoT in agriculture is the solution to optimizing the production of agricultural products. The outcome of this integration is could be something as simple as a higher yield from the field to something as vast as a overhauling and enhancing the quality of everyday agricultural products. Concepts such as smart farming, automated farming techniques, optimized irrigation, ag-analytics and agri-waste management are not unreal any more. It’s a marriage of agriculture and technology that could truly change the way mankind works on the field and beyond.

Each phase of the farm to food phase gains huge benefits from this incorporation of technology in agriculture. Let us consider productivity as a core-example. Maximizing yield from every inch of land is absolutely vital. Farmers continuously have to monitor crop, irrigate lands, evaluate soil quality, optimize harvesting patterns and perhaps even base some decisions on being able to predict weather cycles. Imagine how simple technologies such as automated crop monitoring, routine irrigation alerts, weather-based soil maintenance, yield analytics can help improve on production drastically. Similarly, we could also look at improved livestock rearing. Farmers have to look intricately into breeding patterns, livestock health, optimal feeding, tracking their location and much more daily. With automated health-tracking, data analytics for optimal breeding and feeding, livestock geo-tracking and geo-fencing, IoT addresses and eases the burden on farmers and reduces the need for human intervention unless absolutely necessary.

The fairytale marriage of agriculture and IoT is not one we endorse lightly. Countless companies are already making excellent advances to bring about revolutionary changes in the industry. The Rowbot pairs robotics and data-collection software to optimize corn fertilization and acquire information to maximize yield and minimize waste. The OpenAG Initiative designed by MIT Media Labs uses personal food computers that administer and monitor environmental factors. CropX brings a soil sensors to the field that provides data on the soil quality and environmental factors, enabling smarter decision making to produce higher yield. With middleware platform Kaa, predictive analysis and statistics for livestock feeding and produce are within hands reach.

In a world where technology has a huge say, IoT penetrating the agricultural industry is a milestone. It’s a harmony of two industries that promises to yield big returns in the future. With reduced labor functions, optimal decision making, cost-efficiency that could run into billions of dollars, IoT revolutionizes the way we look at agriculture. It enables farmers and carves a niche for itself among the most highly regarded technological advancements in mankind. To conclude, IoT is a seed that is bound to produce plenty of fruit for years to come.

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