SMART TECHNOLOGY IS GROWING ON FARMS
Innovative devices gather data and help maximize operational efficiency
Data is the most valuable tool a farmer has when it comes to minimizing costs and maximizing crop yields. That’s why about 80 percent of U.S. farmers now use some sort of smart technology. This is a fortunate development, because the earth’s population is expected to grow to 9.7 billion by 2050, making efficient food production a necessity.1
Smart technology in agriculture includes IoT (Internet of Things) devices such as digital sensors and monitoring equipment, smart irrigation, terrain contour mapping, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles such as drones, robotics, and more.
Sensors of all types are being deployed from the air and in the earth. A drone can be equipped with a multispectral sensor to capture data to enable farmers to better predict how crops should be watered. The same sensor can be placed on a tractor that’s fertilizing the soil to identify which crops need more or less nitrogen.
Here are additional examples of the types of smart technol-ogy used on farms:
- Wearables for Cows – Similar to the fitness trackers worn by humans, wearables for cows can be used to check tem-perature, activity, eating, sleeping, and gait. This data helps farmers improve cow health and comfort.
- Self-Driving Tractors – With these high-tech tractors, farmers can program routes so the tractor can navigate its own way across the field. The farmer drives hands-free while navigating more precisely and is able to manage other aspects of the business from the cab.
- GPS Technology – Used on tractors and other equipment, GPS technology helps farmers with field mapping, soil sam-pling, and crop scouting. It also allows them to work during low visibility field conditions such as rain, dust, and fog.
- In-Field Water Sensors – These sensors detect moisture in the soil and help farmers customize water applications for crops based on soil moisture and temperature. They can also help pinpoint the best times and rates for site-specific irrigation.
To support these applications, a Wi-Fi network can be installed on a farm property to provide internet access in and around buildings and even across multiple farm locations. 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.
To discuss the internet needs of your farm or ranch, contact Madison Communications at 1-800-422-4848.