First, there was the internet. It revolutionized business, education, industry, and even the military. Then came smart devices that could communicate using the internet. Around this time, the ISP industry saw a boom and things like Cox bundle deals became readily available. The most recent development in this timeline is the Internet of Things or IoT. An IoT network consists of “smart” devices that communicate with each other over a wireless network. Many fields have already begun to incorporate IoT into their operations.
One such area is farming, which this blog examines in more detail below.
Smart Farming: The Real Green Revolution
For centuries, a country’s ability to produce food was a measure of its prosperity. As technology improved, even nations with poor agriculture began to produce more crops and food. Technology helped farmers increase the output they get from the limited land they have. Machinery and tools helped farmers and farmhands work more efficiently. But over the last decade or so, technological advancements in agriculture plateaued.
However, recently, the Internet of Things began to exert its influence on many fields, including agriculture, livestock, and irrigation. Most of farming technology is now sensors, observation systems, and soil monitors. This blog explores how the Internet of Things or “smart” technology has revolutionized farming in the following areas:
- Smart Farming
- Livestock Farming
- The Future of Farming
Let’s dive right into these areas.
A lot of traditional farming overlooks individual crops or animals. You can’t tell if it is just a small part of your field not getting enough water. You can’t tell if just one cow in your herd is sick. You can’t tell which specific crop needs more fertilizer or pesticide. At least you couldn’t until recently.
IoT devices come in as a workable solution for farmers to manage farms on a micro level. Devices or sensors on an IoT network can get you a lot of useful information. Properly placed sensors and devices can help you with:
- Soil conditions
- Water conditions
- Crop conditions
- GPS and weather tracking
What’s more, IoT devices communicate with each other and present real-time information. Most networks come with a central dashboard farmers can use to access this information. Many even offer a smartphone app so farmers have precise facts with them at all times.
New LoRa technology allows IoT devices to accurately monitor even the largest of farms. This technology is also extremely power efficient, helping reduce energy costs. The data from IoT devices can help farmers make timely decisions, take corrective actions, and make adjustments where necessary.
It is not easy to monitor a herd of cattle. You may need a full-time farmhand for this one simple task if you’re a traditional livestock farmer. IoT devices can help livestock farmers manage their livestock more efficiently. There are a number of IoT solutions for cattle farming which include the following:
- A device that can be fed to a cow. This device then monitors the animal from inside. It can sense changes in body temperature and alert vets. It also lets you know when the animal is ovulating and ready for insemination. These precise pieces of information can help farmers both grow their herd and prevent animals from dying through negligence.
- There are also devices that monitor animals from the outside. One type is an ear tag that can alert farmers in case the animal is sick. From there, it’s a simple matter of going to the animal and separating it from the herd. This can help farmers quarantine sick animals so the others don’t catch anything contagious.
IoT devices can also help farmers get precise information on water quality as well as irrigation needs. Water is one of the most important factors to increase crop yield. IoT devices can pinpoint precise water issues that need a farmer’s attention in real time. Some sensors can even detect the mineral content of the water and alert the farmer to any deficiencies. These are ultra-energy efficient sensors that can transmit over long ranges. Most importantly, the sensors are easy to install and require no maintenance.
The Future of Farming
The future of farming looks very promising, especially in the light of IoT networks and devices. An internet connection is all you need for your own IoT network. You can deploy sensors that observe water, livestock, crops, soil, and the weather. Just make sure you have a reliable provider like Cox. Because the internet is not perfect, you may also need to have the Cox customer support number on speed-dial. As more accurate sensors and devices emerge, farming will continue to evolve and become more efficient. In the near future, most aspects of farming will function through an IoT network.