The days when farmers got by solely with a combine harvester are long gone. Modern technologies are replacing traditional methods. The modern passion for technology and gadgets has spread to the agricultural industry: tractors that do not require drivers, robots that harvest crops, crops health assessment thanks to the NDVI formula, and many other means to solve numerous problems of the agriculture and food industries.
The agricultural sector will face major challenges in the not-too-distant future according to the rapidly growing world population. To satisfy the food demand, food production will have to increase significantly despite the limited availability of arable land, the growing demand for water, and other less predictable factors like climate change.
One way to solve these problems and improve the quality and quantity of agricultural products is to use smart technologies, which can make farms more efficient. Luckily, the advancements in modern farming technology are already aiding farmers in producing more healthy and nutritious crops than ever before.
In this piece, we will guide you through the main principles and innovations of tech farming to showcase what exactly it is capable of.
Smart Agriculture and IoT
Smart agriculture is a high-tech set of solutions that allow farmers to automate processes as much as possible, as a result of which KPI increases, the quality and quantity of products improves, and production becomes economically profitable. One of the technologies smart agriculture uses is IoT.
The Internet of Things has a big impact on the world we live in. Advanced industries, connected vehicles, and smarter cities are all part of the IoT. However, the application of technologies such as the Internet of Things to agriculture can have the greatest impact. Smart farming, powered by IoT technologies, enables farmers to reduce waste and increase productivity from the amount of fertilizer used to the number of routes made by agricultural vehicles. All of this is possible thanks to high data precision that IoT enables.
Precision farming can be thought of as anything that makes farming practices more controlled and precise when it comes to raising livestock or growing crops. In this approach to farm management, a key component is the use of information technology and various IoT elements such as sensors, control systems, robotics, autonomous vehicles, automated equipment, variable speed technology, and so on.
Precision farming is one of the best known IoT applications in the agricultural sector, and numerous organizations use this technique around the world. Precision farming tech includes soil moisture sensors, a virtual optimizer with variable irrigation rate, and much more.
Overall, farmers can use smartphones to receive reliable, real-time data on:
- Resource usage
- Assets location
All of this is possible due to different sensors that collect all of this information. Depending on the type of sensor it can provide data on:
- Soil and air temperature
- Soil moisture
- Grain size and weight
Having all this data and more at their disposal, farmers can make smart decisions and improve almost all operations on a farm.
Pneumatic Spray Nozzle
Diseases and pests are among the biggest issues that result in yield losses every year. One of the ways to battle these issues is to perform pesticides and fertilizers application with sprayers. A sprayer is an equipment that can be used for a variety of tasks that have one goal – to improve yields and protect plants from pests. This equipment is available even to amateurs and novice users. There are also professional models for use on an industrial scale.
A pneumatically pressurized air sheer nozzle was developed with the goal to overcome a disease that was killing orange trees in Florida. The sprayer has been used by a variety of growers in different settings to prevent or mitigate the effect of diseases and pests on plants.
RFID (Radio-frequency identification) technology can be implemented in devices for sensing and monitoring various environmental parameters. Poultry and meat supply chains, for example, are always challenging for systems to accurately monitor temperature changes. To avoid waste, such goods must be carefully controlled. RFID technology solves this problem with specially designed temperature sensors that are attached to meat packages for continuous temperature monitoring.
Ultimately, RFID sensors are used to track food routes from the field to the store, allowing customers to see where their produce came from and helping them determine the trustworthiness of different manufacturers.
WISRAN is a company that offers software for farmers enabling them to track farm productivity and understand machinery logistics. Identifying the inefficiencies, farmers will be able to see where and how they’re losing profit to improve operations.
Automated Dairy Farming
Automated dairy farming implies the use of robotic technology on dairy farms with the purpose to increase production and minimize routine tasks. These technologies include:
- Robotic milkers
- Feed pushers
- Smart collars
- Manure cleaners
Traditional weed control practices would be the use of chemicals, but organic commercial farmers are seeking other ways to protect crops. Instead of spraying harmful substances, growers tend to use weed wipers to apply minimal weed control herbicide. Such technique protects the environment, the crop, saves farmer’s costs, and results in healthier produce and higher yields.