What is Smart Farming?
Smart farming is integrating sophisticated technology into existing farming processes to boost production efficiency and the quality of agricultural goods. As a bonus, they also improve the quality of life for farm workers by minimizing heavy effort and repetitive jobs. It represents the application of modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) into agriculture, leading to what can be called a Third Green Revolution.
The agricultural world is witnessing the Third Green Revolution, which is based on the combined use of ICT solutions such as precision equipment, the Internet of Things (IoT), sensors and actuators, geo-positioning systems, Big Data, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs, drones), robots, and so on. This accomplishment is the result of the plant breeding and genetics revolutions.
Smart Farming can produce more productive and sustainable agricultural output by utilizing a more precise and resource-efficient strategy. However, although up to 80% of farmers in the United States employ some form of SFT, just 24% do in Europe. Smart Farming, from the farmer’s perspective, should give added value in improved decision-making or more efficient exploitation operations and management.
The following are some of the Smart Farming techniques and technologies:
It is the management of geographical and temporal variability to increase economic returns after utilising inputs while minimizing environmental effects. This consists of Decision Support Systems (DSS) for whole-farm management to optimize returns on inputs whilst retaining resources, enabled by the widespread use of GPS, GNSS, aerial images by drones, and the modern-day era of hyperspectral images supplied by Sentinel satellites, permitting the introduction of maps of the spatial variability of as many variables as may be measured.
Precision Livestock Farming (PLF)
Precision livestock farming is one smart subject of smart farming (PLF). Sensors are utilized in this technique to identify reproductive cycles and monitor cattle health. Data monitoring includes activity tracking, tissue resistivity, pulse, and GPS position. Efforts are being made worldwide, particularly in Europe, to move PLF capabilities from the lab to the field. A comparable application to Smart fishing exists in Central and Southeast Asia, though at a rudimentary level.
Agricultural Automation and Robotics
It is the application of Robotics, Autonomous Control, and Artificial Intelligence techniques at all agricultural production levels, including farm bots and farm drones.
Smart Farming applications might be new levers to increase other common or rising trends in agricultural exploitations, such as family farming and organic farming, and enhance highly regarded and transparent farming, according to European consumer, society, and market awareness. Smart farming may also help with environmental challenges, such as more effective water usage, treatment, and input optimization.
For crop health evaluation, irrigation, crop monitoring, crop spraying, planting, soil and field analysis, and other areas, agriculture is one of the primary verticals to include both ground-based and aerial drones.
Drones take multispectral, thermal, and visual footage while flying; therefore the data they collect can help farmers understand a variety of metrics, such as scouting reports, stockpile measuring, chlorophyll measurement, nitrogen content in wheat, drainage mapping, plant health indices, plant counting and yield prediction, plant height measurement, canopy cover mapping, field water pond mapping, weed pressure mapping, and so on.
Importantly, IoT-based smart farming is not limited to large-scale farming operations; it can also offer value to developing trends in agriculture, such as organic farming and family farming, by breeding certain livestock and/or producing certain cultures, preserving unique or high-quality kinds, and enhancing highly transparent farming to customers, society, and the market.
Third Green Revolution
Smart farming and IoT-powered agriculture is paving the path for a Third Green Revolution. The Third Green Revolution is sweeping over agriculture, following the plant breeding and genetics revolutions. This revolution is based on integrating data-driven analytics technologies such as precision agricultural equipment, IoT, “big data” analytics, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs or drones), robots, and so on.
According to this smart agricultural revolution, pesticides and fertilizer consumption will decrease in the future, but total efficiency will increase. IoT technology will improve food traceability, resulting in greater food safety. It will also benefit the environment, for example, by using water better or optimizing treatments and inputs.
As a result, smart farming has the potential to deliver a more productive and sustainable form of agricultural production that is based on a more precise and resource-efficient approach. New farms will bring humanity’s eternal dream to fruition. It will feed our growing population, which is expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. Read more about our Greenhouse Technology to get a broader view of it and how it works!
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