How IoT Impacts Your Farm?

While you are busy tackling the heat wave and harvesting this seasons corn, berries and tomato vines, the internet of things has crawled up and pushed its way into every farm across the country. It’s really no surprise – IBISWorld pegs the American precision agriculture industry at a whopping $2 billion a year in revenue, which makes it a tempting target for both IoT start-ups and established players alike.

Looking beyond the business potential, precision agriculture, also called internet of things for agriculture, has introduced many new techs for growers that either help reduce cost of labor significantly or suggest ways to maximize output; and in some scenarios do both. The most important factors for the adoption of precision agriculture systems by the growers are;

  • Ability to quickly adopt to new technologies
  • Development of a symbiotic relationship with the tech industry
  • Highly innovative and adaptable work force

Lets take a look at how IoT is putting it roots down in every farm;

Precision watering

You need to get the right amount of water to crops at the right time. Water and nutrients are used most efficiently when your crops have access to the amount of water the crop needs and the soil can hold.

Thanks to the use of sensor information drawn from the area immediately around the crops, Precision Ag growers can monitor soil moisture at different depths- one at the root zone and one few feet below. Knowing the exact water holding capacity of the soil can help make decisions about early sowing, monitoring frost and water runoff, and adjusting irrigation cycles to reduce overall water consumption.

Sticking your thumb in the soil to know whats happening under the root zone, is just not enough anymore. For optimizing yields, growers are realizing the need of measuring water content more precisely.

Air Temperature 

Soil moisture readings are of course only one of the many data points that growers can use now.  Air temperature is another popular reading for winter months, for ice wine harvesting, in order to determine when to pick the grapes, when to turn on the wind machines, inversion requirement, and for finding cold pockets in the field. The data helps understand the drops in temperature on their own farm, rather than relying on readings from a weather station located kilometers away. Some Apps can even send out real-time alerts for offsetting crop stress in early stages through real-time alerts.

This summer has been tough for most growers. With the extreme heat wave and sudden drops in temperature, and frost being seen until last month for some northern growers, precision agriculture tech helped our growers take immediate action and minimize heat stress and frost damage.

Just like the commercial farming revolution with harvesters, tractors, and manure/ fertilizer spreading machinery, IoT technology promises to impact farms in much the same way. By automating certain aspects of everyday tasks and sending you alerts based on real-time data, you can focus on other aspects of your business!

ConnectedCrops is one of the latest Canadian Precision Agriculture products, that is solar powered, wireless, and made for the harsh Canadian weather. It is heavily used by several wineries & farms across Canada. It provides real-time monitoring of soil moisture status and temperature variance in your fields, and sends it directly to your smartphone. Continue reading at www.connectedcrops.ca