WHAT IS SMART AGRICULTURE AND SMART FARMING?
Also known as Farming 4.0 or digital farming, smart farming is the application of information and data technologies to optimise complex farming systems. It involves individual machines and all farm operations.
HOW DOES DIGITAL FARMING WORK?
Smart farming incorporates information and communication technologies into machinery, equipment and sensors used in agricultural production systems. Technologies such as the IoT and cloud computing are advancing this development even further by introducing more robots and artificial intelligence into farming.
For example, farmers can use smartphones and tablets to access real-time data about the condition of almost anything involved in their day-to-day operations:
LOCATION OF ASSETS
CONDITION OF ASSETS
Smart agricultural practices allow for the generation of a large volume of data and information. Farmers can use this information to make data-based decisions and take action for improved productivity and profitability.
WHERE DID IT ALL BEGIN?
WHAT TECHNOLOGY IS USED IN FARMING?
Agricultural technology has been evolving over the last 10,000 or so years. Simple hand tools gradually evolved into the mechanical equipment that now runs almost every aspect of commercial farming. However, this kind of technology is generally based on mechanical engineering solutions, without much in the way of ‘intelligence’. But now, things are beginning to change…
Today, the phenomenon of smart farming is being propelled by rapid developments in the IoT and cloud computing.
WHAT IS THE IOT?
Allows objects to be controlled remotely via a network infrastructure.
It creates opportunities for direct integration between the physical world and digital systems. In this guide, we discuss how the IoT is used in agriculture.
HOW DOES SMART FARMING WORK?
The use of smart farming tools is possible due to the use of sensors connected to a network.
WHAT IS A SENSOR?
A sensor is an electrotechnical device. It:
- Measures physical quantities from the environment
- Converts these measurements into a signal
- The signal is read and interpreted by an instrument.
WHAT CAN A SENSOR DO?
The measurements read by include (but are not limited to):
- Size & weight
HOW IS DIGITAL FARM TECHNOLOGY TRANSFORMING AGRICULTURE?
Farming ‘smarter’ is no longer an ‘advanced’ tactic for savvy farmers; it’s becoming an increasingly necessary way to optimise and preserve human and natural resources.
- Farm labour is becoming increasingly scarce due to urban migration and ageing populations.
- Intensifying climate change is altering growing conditions in less predictable ways.
- Earth’s resources and biodiversity are diminishing.
Smart farming tools can help reduce these impacts, minimise environmental constraints and reduce production costs in farming activities. Smart farming tools introduce a new level of technology into agriculture, including mapping, robotics, geomatics, automation, decision making and statistical processes.