What is a Smart Farm?
Seamless online access increases efficiency, security, and profit
It’s an exciting time to be in farming. With an expected 9.6 billion people to feed by 2050, the agriculture industry must continuously find ways to produce more food more easily.
As operations become more internet-based, farmers have an increasing need for online access from anywhere on their property, using a smartphone or other mobile device. Just as homeowners benefit from having Wi-Fi throughout the house for printers, laptops, TVs, smartphones, tablets, and other devices, entire farms can benefit from seamless online access. Dawn Huth, Sales & Marketing Manager at Madison Communications, explains, “Fast and reliable internet service allows farmers to take advantage of today’s technology.”
The following is just a sampling of the many farming activities with online applications:
- Communication between farm employees to keep everything running smoothly
- Access to livestock feed and grain management
- Monitoring of bin and fuel or fertilizer tanks
- Use of GPS services to bring together information from field, animal, and machinery with sensors, along with localized weather data and soil information to assist with decision-making
- Record-keeping regarding births and other critical information
- Internet-based video surveillance
- Access to markets to participate in auctions and more easily follow real-time changes in commodity prices and market information
- Ease of financial management with farm business planning, direct product sales, herd management, ROI calculators, and business accounting Such solutions enable farmers to increase efficiency, enhance security, protect assets, and remain competitive.
Such solutions enable farmers to increase efficiency, enhance security, protect assets, and remain competitive.
A smart farm is a one that’s fully internet-enabled through a fast Wi-Fi connection in and around farm buildings, including grain bins and dryers, using existing fiber internet as a base. A single Wi-Fi network can be built to include all areas of a farm’s operations, even across multiple locations. This technology enables all internet-enabled devices on a farmland to work off of one network. Users get quick access to the monitoring data from these devices and the internet reliability required for optimal performance of security cameras.
A Wi-Fi system can be created to meet the needs of all aspects of a farm’s operation. The right Wi-Fi equipment and layout depends on each farmer’s goals and concerns, as well as building specifications, and the distance between locations.
As technology continues to expand, new ways will be found to make smart farms faster and more efficient. Huth comments, “Tomorrow’s farming will be much different than today’s. Technology is changing everything.”