Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of objects which can directly exchange data with one another without human intervention.

The objects in IoT can be people, animals, or even machines. These objects are attached with devices which collect data from the environment. The data is sent to humans or other objects to act in response.

IoT and Agriculture

Change greatly affects agriculture. There’s a need to constantly monitor the field status. Extreme environment changes and sudden appearance of threats like pests and predators require quick response to protect the crops.

IoT takes real-time monitoring off the hands of the farmers.

How the IoT-Monitoring System Works

With IoT-based monitoring, a system of sensors which detect factors like temperature, elevation, and soil moisture is setup. The data collected is sent to the farmers so they can respond. The farmer may also opt to automate machines to respond instead.

IoT-based monitoring has a wide array of applications. For instance, IoT technology is used in Australian farms for the purpose of pest control. Vertebrate Pest Detect-and-Deter (VPDaD) by CSIRO’s Data61 is a pest control system consisting of sensors and devices which works this way:

  • Data Collection: VPDaD uses motion and color sensors to collect data from the surroundings.
  • Data Transfer: All components of VPDaD in the farm are connected with one another. The sensors send information to the pest-deterring components of the system so they can respond real-time. This data exchange puts the entire farm under the watch of VPDaD.
  • Data Analysis: VPDad is set to analyze whether or not the animal is a pest using the motion and color data collected.
  • Response: If the animal detected is considered a pest, VPDaD is equipped with light and sound producing devices which can deter the animal if necessary.

Is IoT the Future?

With IoT-based monitoring, everything is efficient. The farmer is completely aware of the real-time status of their field. The responses are quick and tailored to specific areas of the field, since the needs of the crops aren’t always the same. This ensures higher yield and quality of crops.

IoT-based monitoring entails lower cost. With monitoring automated, less manpower is needed.The IoT-system can be used to compute for the exact amount of fertilizer and water the crops require so there is no room for overuse.

Still a Long Way to Go

An IoT-based monitoring system requires a fast internet connection. Acquiring the sensors to setup the system is also costly. However, with more farms adopting this system along with new innovations, IoT monitoring in farms will be the norm in no time.

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