Precision Farming Supported by IoT can Support Future Food Demand
According to Beecham Research, the population of the world will rise to 9.6 billion by the year 2050, with most living in urban areas. In order to support a population of that size, the production of food will need to have increased by a staggering 70%!
A new report by Beecham Research entitled, Towards Smart Farming: Agriculture Embracing the IoT Vision, claims to hold the key information needed to meet future food demand, and it is to be found in the development of precision farming based on the interconnected intelligence that IoT provides.
Senior analysts at Beecham were asked for comment to back up the report, and Therese Cory responded by stating that future food demand must be considered along with other challenges such as climate change, extreme weather occurrences and the impact on the environment of current and future intensive farming.
The report cites research by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, to suggest that the way to counter any challenges is to embrace innovative tools and techniques, especially digital technologies. The yield per unit of farmland can be optimized by precision agriculture that utilizes the most up-to-date methods in a continuous and sustainable way, and in the process, gain the best possible product in terms of quantity, quality and financial return.
There are some use cases for IoT in farming already, including using fleet management software in farm vehicles, as well as software applications for monitoring livestock, fish farms, indoor farming, forestry and monitoring storage.
In the United States, parts of the wireless technology industry have already spotted the opportunity to boost revenue that precision farming presents. AT&T has an industrial IoT unit, and is collaborating with John Deere, who manufactures agricultural machinery, to install wireless modems in every piece of machinery they produce. Besides this, AT&T is also working to boost grain yields and reduce spoilage by implementing their sensor systems.
These are the six components Beecham claims to be essential to smart farming:
2) Software and hardware
3) Data analytics
4) Telematics and positional technology
5) Communications systems
6) Software applications
IoT and agriculture is a match made in heaven in many ways. Sensors will allow farmers to keep an eye over how well their crop is yielding, as well as other factors like the nutrition of the soil and rainfall with previously impossible levels of precision.
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