Technology is everywhere we look. There are few, if any industries that do not heavily rely on it. This is true for one of the oldest industries known to man, agriculture. With the power of computers and the internet, things have come a long way from the plow and ox. You are probably thinking, how can the internet help plants grow better? The internet itself obviously cannot make a plant grow better. What it does, is help automate and control all of the things that do make plants grow better. The internet of things is changing the way that agriculture is performed. You may have heard of the term precision Ag. This is fancy wording for using computers to make smart farming decisions. There are several new precision ag technologies on the marketplace today. Let’s talk about some of the ways a computer is changing the way you eat your salad.
What do crops need? On a basic level, they require light, air, nutrients and water. Some can grow in harsh climates, others are very temperamental. Some plants can grow with little water, others require heavy amounts. Seasons, amount of sunlight and are also a factor for some crops. One farmer might grow in a greenhouse, while others are in a field. The options for agriculture, like technology are becoming diverse. This is where the internet of things comes in. AI, programming and automation can improve how much, or how little of those crops need.
If you have a thousand acres of crops, it is not easy to drive around and get a proper analysis on the condition of all of your plants. Now, they have drones that can easily fly above the fields and acreage to get a view of everything. This is much safer, and cheaper than using a traditional airplane. Those drones could also be equipped with sensors to let you know what needs watering, or more nutrients. That same drone could then send a signal to the irrigation system to send water to the area in need. The whole farm can be interconnected. On days that rain is forecast, irrigation will be automated based on the rain levels received. That same data, can be used to create a forecast for your future sustainability, as the climate evolves. A cattle farmer can easily and effectively track their herd. A greenhouse can become almost fully automated with proper software development and integration. These are just a few examples!
Stay Sharp Out There
The more precise you can be in agriculture, the better your yields. Billions of dollars are spent every year to improve processes in agriculture. This can be in the form of removing unnecessary labor, waste and loss. (And cost for that matter)The internet is a very powerful tool, and is being used in ways never imagined. Think about this the next time you are passing a farm, or buying groceries. You might not have thought that the same thing that downloads your music, is improving the food you eat and the farmers who produce it.