100's of M2M / IoT blog posts.

IoT and Agriculture: Using the power of Data to improve how our food supply is managed

by Larry Bellehumeur   |  Oct 02, 2018  

Hello and thanks for reading.

Few areas have seen change over the past few hundred years more than the world of Agriculture.  Years ago, the vast majority of the population was involved in the production of food … now, it is a relatively small percentage.  However, thanks to technology advancements, we are producing more food than ever.

Today, the world is demanding more … better quality food to be produced, while reducing the impact on the environment, as well as doing so with less water and pesticides.  IoT is here to help.  IoT is all about information, and this information allows for improvements for farmers that we wouldn’t have dreamed about even a decade ago.

Here are a few examples:

Smart irrigation = less water used

By knowing precisely how much rain has fallen in a particular area, farmers can optimize how much irrigation to do.  This not only produces better crops but also reduces water usage.  Solutions even allow for certain zones to be set to accommodate the different water needs of particular plants.

 

More accurate planting
Using a nerdy technology called “RTK”, farmers are able to plant more efficiently.  By better aligning their crops, they use less resources and are able to plant longer hours during the early part of the season, even while in total darkness!

 

The use of drones
Besides being cool, drones plan an important part in the world of farming.  They allow farmers to see things that might not be apparent from the ground, such as dryness levels, how plants in dense areas are growing and how close some plants are to being ripe.


Improving the storage of grain and other crops
First, bar code technology is used to ensure that the correct crop is placed in the silo, eliminating the chance of cross-contamination.  Once inside, smart sensors are used to monitor things like humidity, temperature and even a possible theft.

Making the cows “smart”
IoT helps improve livestock monitoring by using ear tags to monitor location, using sensors to monitor for periods of conception and to track the behaviour of the animal … all of which is viewable on a smartphone application.  As well, smart lactation solutions allow the farmers to know the optimal time to milk each cow for maximum output.

Keeping our food system safe

Once the product leaves the farm, smart solutions allow for better tracking of food from farm to table, as well as ensuring that each food product is stored at its ideal temperature/humidity level while on its way to the store.  Finally, IoT solutions help alert consumers quickly of possible contamination issues, as well as preventing them from getting into the food system in the first place.