Applications Of Smart Devices In Agriculture

Farming has seen a number of technological transformations in the last decades, becoming more industrialized and technology-driven. By using various smart agriculture gadgets, farmers have gained better control over the process of raising livestock and growing crops, making it more predictable and efficient.

What Is Smart Agriculture? – Definition

Smart Farming is a farming management concept using modern technology to increase the quantity and quality of agricultural products.

Farmers in the 21st century have access to GPS, soil scanning, data management, and IoT technologies. By precisely measuring variations within a field and adapting the strategy accordingly, farmers can greatly increase the effectiveness of pesticides and fertilizers, and use them more selectively. 

Similarly, using Smart Farming techniques, farmers can better monitor the needs of individual animals and adjust their nutrition correspondingly, thereby preventing disease and enhancing herd health.

The Benefits of Smart Farming

Terdapat beberapa cara peranti pintar boleh meningkatkan sektor pertanian, antaranya ialah:

  • Sensors : Tons of data, collected by smart agriculture sensors, e.g. weather conditions, soil quality, crop’s growth progress or cattle health. This data can be used to track the state of your business in general, as well as staff performance, equipment efficiency, etc.
  • Better control over the internal processes : The ability to foresee the output of your production allows you to plan for better product distribution. If you know exactly how much crops you are going to harvest, you can make sure your product won’t lie around unsold.
  • Cost management and waste reduction : Being able to see any anomalies in the crop growth or livestock health, you will be able to mitigate the risks of losing your yield.
  • Increased business efficiency through process automation : By using smart devices, you can automate multiple processes across your production cycle, e.g. irrigation, fertilizing, or pest control.
  • Enhanced product quality and volumes

Smart Devices Use Cases In Agriculture

1. Cattle Tracking Systems

Outfitting a sensor and tracking device to a cow’s collar, ear, leg, tail, or via an ingestible microchip gives farmers the ability to track a cattle’s activity levels, health, and other key behaviors like reproduction activity to increase output and overall herd wellness.

Key Benefits

  • Easy animal Identification
  • Heat detection for improved conception rates including tracking silent heats and to target best time for insemination
  • Lameness detection and general health monitoring to separate and treat sick cows
  • GPS location tracking to monitor herd
  • Early mastitis detection to lower risk of milk loss u
  • Identify animals under heat/cold stress

2. Smart Greenhouse

The smart greenhouse is a revolution in agriculture, creating a self-regulating, microclimate suitable for plant growth through the use of sensors, actuators, and monitoring and control systems that optimise growth conditions and automate the growing process.

The key technologies used in the smart greenhouse market are HVAC, LED grow lights, communications technology, irrigation systems, materials handling, valves and pumps, and control systems. The LED grow light segment dominated the market in 2016, used as an artificial light source to stimulate plant growth.

Greenhouse Core Features

1) Remote monitoring and control system

  1. Keep an eye on every KPI of a greenhouse
  2. Get real-time updates anywhere anytime and take actions fast
  3. Go for plant-centric lighting for maximum production
  4. Protect plants from extreme weather fluctuations
  5. Track total yield and total cost savings

2) Monitor multiple greenhouse

  1. Get real-time graph of temperature, moisture, humidity, luminosity and energy consumption
  2. Know your greenhouse ROI by comparing plants’ productivity in a greenhouse and outdoor land
  3. Make informed decisions to improve total yield based on alerts
  4. Turn on/off fan, vents, light or pumps from a mobile device
  5. Acquaint yourself thoroughly with the best time to harvest

3) Crop analysis

  1. Get completely aware of plant essentials, such as soil nutrients, in the past six months and know what they should be in the coming months based on machine learning techniques
  2. With machine learning algorithms, you can be prepared with the required energy and water for a plant of your greenhouse
  3. Change your soil and know projected harvesting date based on data
  4. Identify estimated profitability from a plant of your greenhouse
  5. Track plants productivity in each quarter

4) Plant disease detection

  1. Identify and control plant diseases before they become prevalent
  2. Maintain soil health by monitoring nutrient levels
  3. Customized plant disease treatment recommendation
  4. Calculate the amount of fertilizer needed precisely
  5. No need for plant diagnostics experts

Key Benefits

  1. Maintain Ideal Micro-Climate Conditions
  2. Enhance Irrigation and Fertilization Practices
  3. Control Infection and Avoid Disease Outbreak
  4. Prevent Thefts and Improve Security

3. Agricultural Robotic

An agricultural robot is a robot deployed for agricultural purposes. The main area of application of robots in agriculture today is at the harvesting stage. Emerging applications of robots or drones in agriculture include weed control, cloud seeding, planting seeds, harvesting, environmental monitoring and soil analysis.

1. Harvesting Robotic Arms

Using machine vision tools and robotics new harvesting systems are starting to emerge for high value crops.

The harvesting robots are able to go down greenhouse aisles accurately identify ripe versus unripe plants, harvest them and place them in on-board boxing systems.

In the video below is an example from in a tomato harvesting operation.

2. Spacing Robots

With robots working safely alongside people robots can perform dreaded manual labor tasks like plant spacing. The robots can also increase plant quality by optimizing plant placement and reducing non‐labor production costs including a reduction in the amount of water, pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers used as a result of more consistent spacing.

Key Benefits

  1. More efficient greenhouses due to decreased spacing and optimal space configurations
  2. Lower work related injuries and workers compensation claims
  3. Allow for complex crop mixes
  4. 24 hour crop harvesting schedules

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