The global precision farming market is rapidly expanding, mainly because of the Internet of Things. By 2030, it is projected to surpass $26 billion, increasing by 14% yearly from roughly $8 billion in 2021.
Precision farming technology is a viable solution to the impending food crisis and the rising search for ways to enhance agricultural production. As the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) study showed, the adoption of precision agriculture increased farmers’ output by 4%, lowered fertilizer and herbicide usage by 7% and 9%, and cut fossil fuel consumption by 6%. And there’s more to that.
Following the same report, fertilizer, herbicide, fossil fuel, and water use will decrease even more if backed up with the broader implementation of precision farming tech. But what is this technology all about?
WebbyLab will explain that to you, drawing on its profound experience developing IoT solutions for precision agriculture.
We’ll tell you how the agriculture industry can benefit from precision farming and the Internet of Things, taking our smart greenhouse system based on the 2Smart Standalone platform as an example.
Devices and sensors connected to the smart greenhouse’s mini-computer developed by Webbylab.
Precision agriculture uses various technologies like GPS, GIS, sensors, aerial devices, or field mapping to streamline crop management processes, increase production levels, and improve profitability. It also optimizes the use of such traditional resources as electricity, fuel, and water, contributing to sustainable agriculture growth.
Precision farming technologies help obtain the following goals:
Thus, precision agriculture facilitates decision-making by leveraging farming data for optimized sowing, reduced crop waste, and lowered harmful impact on the environment.
Today, farmers are increasingly turning to precision agriculture technology. It’s not surprising since this tech brings numerous benefits to agricultural processes, including more effective decision-making, increased ROI, and producing more with fewer resources.
With numerous tools and techniques, precision agriculture enables farmers to monitor fields more effectively by tracking various metrics. In particular, growers can check the rainfall levels, study soil samples, estimate fertilizer use, or evaluate the number of nutrients needed for the crops. All this contributes to a better understanding of the conditions that promote the highest agricultural yields.
Following the previous point, all real-time data on the environment, soil condition, and crops enable farmers to make better decisions regarding agricultural management. As a result, field owners can timely respond to local changes and eliminate risks that may affect yield.
Precision agriculture technologies make it possible to store agricultural data in one place, especially with the involvement of cloud-based tech. This way, crop management becomes much easier, as farmers can effortlessly access data from any device.
Farmers tend to use excessive amounts of chemicals to control pests in the fields. It not only harms the condition of the soil and crops but also significantly affects the budget. However, with precision agriculture, everything changes. This tech allows using chemicals only when necessary while effectively protecting crops.
Effective irrigation management is critical in agriculture, as this industry is among those that consume the most significant amount of water. Precision farming enables measuring soil moisture and rainfall levels to determine the best time to irrigate a field.
Precision agriculture allows farmers to determine the exact amount of fertilizers, herbicides, and chemicals needed for a specific field. It also helps optimize the use of fuel, water, and electricity. All this benefits the environment and reduces the amount of harmful waste.
Precision farming combined with IoT offers even more advantages to agricultural businesses. Let’s look at them in greater detail.
Thanks to IoT in precision agriculture, farmers can better analyze the processes on their sites. IoT sensors and devices installed on the farm will instantly send data on crop status, soil quality, weather conditions, or worker performance, giving a better understanding of all agricultural processes.
Precision agriculture using Internet of Things makes it possible to optimize the use of resources. This tech allows for accurate harvest volume estimation and the assessment of the required amount of water, fertilizers, etc., reducing operating costs and boosting production.
The greenhouse automation system developed by WebbyLab enables efficient use of resources. This platform divides the greenhouse into separate zones, each of which maintains its microclimate. As a result, farmers can harvest different crops with the most optimal lighting, watering, and temperature conditions.
A field manager can monitor developing patterns and trends by collecting data from IoT devices on the farm. In particular, farmers can predict which concerns or natural disasters may recur or determine which types of crops are the most profitable and yielding.
The Internet of Things allows farmers to leverage drones with hyperspectral and multispectral sensors. These devices help to get deeper insights into the state of crops and soil moisture. On top of that, IoT-enabled drones can assist in natural disaster management.
IoT technology used in precision agriculture can facilitate internal management procedures. With this tech, field managers can effectively supervise their workers and increase their productivity by sending them real-time data on field conditions.
All in all, IoT in precision farming streamlines all agriculture-related tasks. It allows for automatic real-time data collection and transfer, advanced analytics, risk management, and farm monitoring.
The Internet of Things is shaping precision agriculture. There are numerous use cases of this technology, and we offer to discuss them in more detail. Here are the core IoT-enabled precision farming examples:
Farmers can monitor climate conditions thanks to weather stations equipped with IoT tools. After collecting environmental data, connected devices transmit this information to the cloud. Farmers can then use this data to choose the most suitable crops for a specific area.
Field managers can use various crop monitoring tools. These include IoT devices installed in the field that collect data about crop health, water levels, soil quality, etc. Other technologies include satellite monitoring.
The core purpose of such tools is to examine the health of plants, in particular through the detection of photosynthetically active crops and the level of water stress. In addition, with these technologies, farmers can manage anomalies and prevent these issues.
Livestock monitoring solutions include wearable IoT collar tags. Such devices make it possible to track the location of animals in real-time or even send and store data about their health in an IoT app.
Other precision agriculture technology examples include greenhouse management automation. By introducing various sensors into the greenhouse, farmers can streamline numerous tasks, such as watering, lighting, or temperature control. Some smart greenhouses can even fertilize plants automatically.
The WebbyLab team has experience in creating IoT solutions for greenhouse automation. We placed a mini-computer into the greenhouse with our 2Smart Standalone automation platform we’ve used for home automation.
Our experts connected various sensors to the mini-computer and 2Smart Standalone, such as those that measure the greenhouse’s air temperature and humidity, the soil’s temperature and humidity, and the level of CO2. We have also integrated such IoT devices as lighting, ventilation, irrigation, and fertilizer supply systems.
The hardware center of the smart greenhouse
We linked all the sensors and devices through various IoT protocols, including Modbus, Zigbee, and KNX. Yet, our system is flexible enough to support other IoT protocols. The data obtained from the sensors is stored in the platform’s database and can be analyzed through the Grafana web application.
Our smart greenhouse solution allows farmers to set up multiple custom automation scenarios. For example, different zones with specific watering, lighting, and temperature adjustments can be managed from one computer with the help of a single automation platform.
Farmers can easily manage greenhouse parameters both locally and remotely. They can change the settings via the touch screen or the 2Smart Standalone IoT mobile app or do it from anywhere on the planet via the cloud-based 2Smart Cloud application.
An administrative panel of a smart greenhouse based on 2Smart Standalone.
IoT has applications for agricultural transport, such as tractors. In particular, this technology makes it possible to deploy navigation systems for building the most optimal routes. Precision agriculture projects also include precision steering through the integration of a motorized drive that acts on the steering wheel to adjust the trajectory of movement. Plus, IoT enables semi-automated driving.
WebbyLab is an experienced IoT software development vendor. Our team leverages sensors and connectivity tech to deliver complex solutions for various industries, precise farming included.
Our experts handle the entire process of creating IoT products: we develop Internet of Things software, make circuit diagrams, and design PCBs. We can provide you with a reliable team of developers, designers, and QA engineers to implement your ideas to life.
Our 2Smart Standalone-based platform for deploying smart greenhouses can be helpful for other types of precision agriculture. This IoT system is easily scalable and configurable, which makes it suitable for the needs of various farming businesses: from small companies to large enterprises.
Our team can solve scaling challenges by selecting sensors and IoT protocols such as LoRaWAN to create long-range networks. And since the 2Smart Standalone platform supports any custom automation scenarios, it is perfect for such scaling.
Thus, our team can adjust our 2Smart Standalone solution to any requirements of agricultural businesses. We can create a unique ecosystem with connected IoT devices for improved crop management, better decision-making, and increased profitability.
While IoT is a common tech in consumer electronics, automotive, and retail industries, it’s worth recognizing its importance for precision agriculture. The Internet of Things can transform this niche entirely, leading to better sustainability, increased profits, and richer harvests.
As a result, every farmer or agricultural business owner can use IoT-enabled precision farming technologies to make more informed decisions on field management, mitigate negative effects and risks, and use resources wisely — all this with an eye toward the future.
So if you aim to adopt precision agriculture using IoT, WebbyLab is here to assist you. Leveraging our extensive background in the Internet of Things and precision farming, we can help your business reach new heights. Feel free to contact us for consultancy services.
Learn more about how we engage and what our experts can do for your business
Head of IoT at Webbylab
Kostiantyn started his career in IT at Webbylab, where he quickly grew from the position of a tester to the role of a manager and business analyst. When the company’s management decided to develop the IoT direction, Kostia became one of its key figures.
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