As the Internet of Things (IoT) transforms our cities and how we live, it is also changing how our food is created. Precision technology solutions are transforming how our farms are managed, improving operation efficiency and leading to greater productivity.
What is precision agriculture?
Precision agriculture is an umbrella concept that refers to using strategies and new technologies such as drones, robots, sensors and artificial intelligence in an interconnected manner to optimize the farm production process and minimize dependence on manual labor. With the worldwide increase of food demand due to exponential population growth, precision agriculture plays an important role in meeting demand while minimizing environmental impact.
In this article, we will touch on how you can benefit from precision agriculture and provide 3 examples of technologies and its applications.
5 benefits of precision agriculture
There are a lot of benefits that precision agriculture can bring however, we believe that the following 5 are the most impactful.
1. Data gathering: The use of sensors and other devices means access to information about your farm that would help you easily identify problem areas and make data-driven decisions.
2. Forecasting and analytics: The access to key data means easy monitoring of your farm and through the use of data analytics solutions, you would be able to create forecasts on yield and plan accordingly.
3. More agile operations: Precision agriculture also allows for more control over processes and the ability to act more quickly, overall lowering the risk of bad crops or wasted resources. This does not only reduce operation costs for the farm but is also good for the environment.
4. Less dependence on manual labor: Using machinery and equipment geared with precision agriculture technology allows hands-free operations and automation of certain processes that will ease manual labor, meaning lower labor costs.
Client review of our tractors with Autosteering Kit:
“After installing the Autosteering Kit... it’s much easier to operate, and we are not as tired as before after a day’s work.”
5. Higher revenues: Combining all of this will help you improve product quality and quantity leading to higher farming revenue, all while having smoother farm operations.
3 examples of precision agriculture
There is a plethora of excellent smart farming solutions and more solutions are coming up as IoT becomes more integrated in our lives. Although farming expertise and experience is irreplaceable, these tools help boost results and performance. We will focus on 3 examples of precision agriculture technology and its applications to get inspired.
1. Crop management devices for monitoring
Crop management devices such as Arable and Semios are useful in monitoring crops and spotting any anomalies to prevent possible infestations or diseases. The devices are placed in the field to collect data such as temperature, precipitation, pest pressure, overall crop health, etc. All these data are funneled into a system accessible through mobile devices, allowing remote monitoring of crops and better action planning.
2. Agricultural drones for remote surveillance
Drones have multiple applications and are particularly useful in agriculture. Apart from visual surveillance through a camera, drones such as Sense Fly agriculture drone eBee SQ can also collect multi-spectral, thermal imagery allowing farmers to access a whole array of metrics. Other types of drones such as DroneSeed can also be used for crop spraying and planting.
3. Autonomous tractors for hands-free operation
Autonomous tractors help ease manual labor and increase operation efficiency. Our Ragnar R160 and Ragnar R180 tractors have Autosteering kit built in allowing hands-free operation with accuracy up to 2.5 cm along a pre-programmed work path. It is also equipped with an IMU sensor that allows it to maintain accuracy in special environments such as undulating terrain and slopes.