Today a driving force behind increased agricultural production at a lower cost is the Internet of Things (IoT)
Farmers and agricultural industries rely on innovative ideas and technological advancements to help increase yields and better allocate resources. The number of connected devices in this market segment is expected to grow from 13 million at the end of 2014 to 225 million by 2024.
Smart farming (application of ICT to agriculture) will enable growers and farmers to control every aspect of the production cycle reducing waste and enhancing productivity.
Scope of IoT in agriculture
- Uses IoT applications, which help farmers to increase the quality, quantity, sustainability and cost effectiveness of agricultural production
Plant and soil monitoring for precision farming
- Plant, soil weather conditions monitoring and reporting
- Soil moisture and nutrients sensing
- Water usage control
- Custom fertilizer profiles determination based on soil chemistry
- Optimal harvest time decision
- It helps identify sick animals so they can be pulled from the herd, preventing the spread of disease
- It lowers labor costs because ranchers can identify where their cattle are located
- Sensors with enough battery power to last the lifespan of the animal
The future of farming is already here, thanks to IoT-connected sensors for agriculture and environmental monitoring to detect temperature changes, soil composition and moisture levels, control lights, tank and silos levels, track animals and objects. A sensor can be used for every step in the farming process, from the time the seed is planted to the moment a fully-grown vegetable arrives by truck to the consumer.
The connectivity technology powering Smart Agriculture should be low power and able to cover wide areas. The LTE based NB-IoT allows for enhanced coverage compared to traditional 2G/3G and even vanilla LTE. With this technology, difficulty in reaching rural locations with cellular will be a thing of the past.
Azcom Technology has added a new portfolio of products for NB-IoT. The AZI series of Outdoor Micro and Pico Cells enable customers to deploy state-of-art Smart farming solutions. The AZI series solutions from Azcom Technology are very flexible and easily customizable to the customer specific requirements.
The Azcom solution offers NB-IoT connectivity In-Band or Guard-Band for thousands of devices on top of standard LTE features. The solution is well suited for scenarios with mixed sensors and human connectivity like agriculture where humans on site need to communicate with first responders to manage alarms and critical situation. Essential services like voice, video and data are available in real time along with NB-IoT sensor data.