Transforming the agricultural industry

By | 2 minute read | August 9, 2016

IoT and agriculture

According to UN Food and Agriculture Organization, we need to grow 70% more food to feed the additional 2.3 billion population by 2050. How to meet the increasing demands with the limited natural resources,  and with the impact of climate change, has become the key issue the world is facing. That’s why the agricultural industry needs digital transformation and technical innovation the most now.

IoT technologies can improve crop yield by eliminating waste, driving operational efficiently, and establish secured food supply chain. Here are the key capabilities of IoT that make it essential to the future of agriculture.

Weather prediction

90% of all crop losses are due to weather. With the IoT platform that can integrate IoT and weather data, farmers would be able to build predictive weather modeling. It can provide the insights that help farmers to make strategic decisions on planting crops and take necessary actions to prevent the damage caused by extreme weather. With weather data, farmers can even build advanced irrigation systems to save water and prevent pesticide waste by predicting rain.

Plant and field real-time monitoring

The IoT platform can integrate drone imagery and sensor data from soil and environment sensors. The insights generated from that data can help farmers make better decisions and therefore drive high performance.

Infosys and Skata Seed have built the Precision Crop Management Testbed. This solution can monitor the plant environment 24/7 in real-time, analyzing drone aerial imagery and sensor data from soil and environment, getting information such as plant health, soil moisture, CO2, sunlight, rainfall, air, humidity and more. It helps farmers to improve crop productivity and operational efficiency by taking strategic actions guided by these insights.

Food safety and supply chain management

IBM Research’s Precision Agriculture is aiming to help farmers use data to make precise decisions from planting, growing, harvesting, to transporting food. The ability to monitor and track the route of food delivery can not only save food waste but enable food safety. Up to 40% of food is wasted in the U.S., which is estimated to cost approximately $165 billion each year. And 50% of the food waste happens during distribution. To define the best route to transport food with the information of weather and all environmental conditions is a critical step to prevent food waste. Moreover, food companies now monitor the production and delivery process to control the quality of food. People can know where their food came from due to the transparent food supply chain.

The future of the agricultural industry

Smart agriculture has been identified as the top ranked opportunity in 2016 Global Opportunity Report. The farmers and stakeholders in the ecosystem are encouraged to implement advanced technologies to use the resources efficiently and optimize yield. John Deere has used connected technologies to help farmers increase productivity since 2001, and it launched the industry 4.0 pilot project with IBM Watson IoT this year. The acceleration of advanced technologies and innovation are transforming the agriculture industry.

We can fight the food shortage together and create a sustainable future for the next generation with the Internet of Things.