The advantages of the Internet of Things in optimization processes have allowed its rapid expansion to numerous sectors, with agriculture being one of the fields where it has expanded more. This is because IoT presents itself as an opportunity to face current challenges such as climate change, environmental impact and the demand for more food from a growing population.
The constant technological development of IoT allows producers and farmers to replace inefficient traditional methods with smart agriculture and modern tools that are part of a more intensive and efficient system. There are numerous applications of IoT in the agricultural sector, here are some of them.
Precision agriculture consists of the management of land and crops through observation, measurement, and action based on multiple technologies. IoT allows the implementation of sensors connected to the Internet that monitor a series of essential parameters for the optimal development of agricultural processes. These sensors can measure temperature, soil moisture, solar radiation, and even trunk diameter, fruit diameter and leaf moisture.
All the information collected is stored for later analysis, thus allowing adequate estimates and predictions. These data also provide the possibility of making better decisions when executing corrective or preventive actions that increase crop productivity.
Its advantages are:
- Higher crop yield
- Guarantees product safety
- Improves product quality
- Reduces crop loss due to pests or climatic factors
- Cost savings by reducing the use of fertilizers and pesticides
- Real time monitoring
- Automated irrigation system
- Management optimization of water resources
A common greenhouse consists of a covered installation that allows for obtaining artificial conditions that improve the yield of vegetables, fruits, and crops. Control of environmental parameters within these spaces require human intervention, resulting in loss of production and labour costs. To eliminate the need for constant human supervision, IoT is being used to design the so-called ‘smart greenhouses.’
These greenhouses automate the control of environmental variables that affect crops through a server in the Cloud that processes the data and executes actions. Some of the systems controlled by the IoT sensors are climate control, temperature control, humidity control, and CO2 application control, among others.
The advantages of smart greenhouses are:
- Labor cost savings
- Maintenance of optimal conditions for crops
- Lighting control.
- Irrigation programming
- Control of the application of nutrients
- Control of fungal diseases
- Increase in crop production and quality
- Alarm system in case of failures
Considering all of the above, the potential of IoT in the agricultural sector is clear and there is a prevalent need to implement this type of technology when covering and supervising the entire productive cycle of your crops, thus increasing their competitiveness and sustainability.
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