According to a report, opportunities of smart farming may reach to $11.1 billion by 2027 . With the staggering world population of 7.7 billion people, experts are finding the answer to these questions-
- Will there be an adequate number of foods for these people?
- What about the labor shortages?
- Will there be any effect of eco-friendly sustenance on producing foods for the growing population?
Smart farming is the only answer to these questions. With the burgeoning technologies, smart agriculture is the sharpest movement, and it’s considered a boon. Gone are the days when the farmers and the whole agricultural industry depend on traditional farming and its primitive procedures. Smart farming is already becoming commonplace among the crofters with IoT and its applications.
Below, we’ll discuss the hyper-digital environment, which is pouring its blessings on the entire agricultural industry. Let’s see how the farmers can meet the world’s food demands in upcoming years.
Armed with intelligent tools, farmers can now monitor certain field conditions. It helps them to make strategic decisions without stepping foot in the field. The driving force of IoT is connecting the machines and sensors to make the entire farming system automated and data-driven.
Advantages of smart farming
Why are experts suggesting switching traditional farming to smart farming? There are many reasons behind the same. When the tech behemoths are talking about accepting the benefits of IoT, the agricultural industry also utilizes roaring features like data gathering and automation.
1. Increased crop production
Optimized crop management like accurate planning, pesticide application, watering, and harvesting directly affects the production rates.
2. Improved work efficiency
Saving precious time and utilizing the same for the other work is one of the essential things that need to be managed. On that note, smart farming can save valuable time. For example, self-steering tractors can use auto-guidance software to steer the machine across the lines.
3. Fewer operation costs
Automation processes involved in harvesting, planting, and treatment can reduce the resource consumption and overall cost of farming.
4. Improved accuracy
The smart farming approach can accurately measure the tracking production rate. It allows the detailed predicting of future crop yield and the value of a firm.
5. Remote monitoring
From an internet connection, local and commercial farmers can monitor firms in multiple locations. Based on that, they can make the decisions in real-time and remotely.
What are the challenges in smart farming?
Undeniably, the growth and proliferation of smart farming have already taken the agricultural industry to a dizzying new height. However, there are a few key challenges the farmers face while implementing smart farming.
1. Lack of technical knowledge
Smart farming involves the learning curve of the present-day IoT structure. Setting up the necessary IoT architecture to intersperse the same into work needs ultimate precision. There is no room for error. If there is any lack in the system, it could be disastrous. On that note, farmers without technical knowledge most likely face the issues. It can’t be bypassed by any means. Therefore, it’s a challenge while work with smart farming.
2. Connectivity issue
Until today, there is no internet connection in remote rural locations worldwide. Therefore, it directly thwarts the attempts to apply innovative technology to farming. Till this network issue persists, digital farming and its implementation can’t be successful.
3. Monitoring every single data point is impossible
The modern agricultural firm has various data points—monitoring and managing the same isn’t possible when looking at significant and multi-crop lands. The responsibility directly goes to the farmers to sort out the data points. There is no doubt that the technology is pouring the blessings, but if the farmers can’t pulp out the required information, it won’t make sense.
4. Configuration and scalability issues
With the different sizes of crop-growing fields, a farmer needs to be provided with scalable IoT tools. Irrespective of the magnitude of the firm, the same technology and benefits should be available. However, this is not yet operational. Therefore, the lack of self-configurable technology raises concerns among the farmers.
Smart farming cycle based on the IoT
To optimize the farming process, IoT devices installed in various firms must collect and process the data in a repetitive cycle. It enables the farmers to react promptly while dealing with emerging issues and changes. It includes-
- Observation– Sensors record the observational data from the livestock, crops, and atmosphere.
- Diagnostics– These data are now fed to the cloud-hosted IoT platform. The predefined rules and models assess the object’s condition and identify the lacks simultaneously.
- Decisions– Once the deficiencies are revealed, machine-learning-driven components/user determines if the location-specific treatment is necessary or not.
- Action– Once the end-user evaluates necessary action, the cycle repeats itself.
A brief idea of precision farming
According to a study, the value of global precision farming was $6.96 billion in 2021. However, it’s expected to expand in the upcoming years by 12.8%. Also, the yield monitoring segment has accounted for 44.11% of revenue share in 2021. However, it can show its dominance in the upcoming years. It will help the farmers to make meaningful decisions about the fields.
The future of smart farming is auspicious. Collecting and analyzing the data maximizes operational efficiency while minimizing labor costs. However, once the challenges and other issues are mitigated, the accountability of the farmers will be high yet supportive. Smart farming has the potential to deliver an effective and sustainable form of agricultural production with a precise and resource-efficient approach.