The Growth of IoT in Agriculture

Posted: Updated:

One of the oldest human trades is farming. Since the dawn of civilization, a need for regular, stable food production has been a staple of society. Today, agriculture is responsible for over $130 billion of our gross GDP in America. As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to revolutionize our world, implementing connected solutions in industries as vital as farming allow us to leverage the full power of IoT in an economically impactful manner. 

In order to realize the full potential of IoT in any industry, there are five high level steps that must be incorporated into your process:

  • Inject
  • Connect
  • Collect
  • Dissect
  • Direct

For starters, you need to inject the sensors into the “things”.  Having the necessary components built into your object is what allows you to connect your “thing” to a network, rendering it functional and beneficial.  You can then begin to collect the data produced by these sensors, compiling a variety of reference points that can be dissected and analyzed.  Then you can direct the use of that information, being smarter about how you produce something.

So how can this impact agriculture? For one thing, it expands the potential for efficiency. One example of this is the Rowbot. Rowbot is an automated vehicle designed to move between rows of crops (specifically corn) and apply fertilizer tailored to the crops needs, inter-seed cover crops and collect data around plant diagnostics to better inform current and future farming practices.  Apart from the obvious benefits of the tailored care and data collection, the automation of this process allows for round the clock crop care, delivery a higher quality product more efficiently.

Repurposing existing technology in farming is another way to foster this innovation. Temperature sensors, initially used to only monitor the health of cows to gauge if they were ill, are now being used to optimize dairy production.  Upon further analysis of the data produced by these sensors, it was discovered that at a certain body temperature cows produce about 10% more milk.  Using this data, farmers have begun to monitor their cattle, milking at the opportune time to increase yield.   

Agriculture today has evolved beyond simply standard produce to include alternative energy production and collection.  A single wind turbine has over 400 data points that transmit never information over 60 times per second.  Collecting this data informs not only the use and care of the existing turbines, but helps predict the most beneficial placement of new turbines, how many new turbines should be activated, and future energy yield.    

Each of these projects implemented sensors or software into an existing system, connected it to the power of the internet of things, collected and analyzed the data and used that information to drastically improve their production process.  This is how the Internet of Things is impacting biosciences, how will it affect your industry? 

John McDonald is the CEO of ClearObject, Inc. Magazine’s fastest-growing IT company in Indiana for 2014, 2015 and 2016.

  • Perspectives

    • Regional Investment Proposal Could be a Game Changer for Quality of Place Initiatives in Indiana

      While quality of place may be defined differently by people, a growing number of Hoosiers recognize the importance of this issue. In particular, the impact of quality of place on talent attraction and retention in a geographic area cannot be ignored. The future of every community is dependent on quality of place. Like many Midwestern states, Indiana is not growing at the same pace as areas in the southern and western regions of the United States.

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • The Vogue opened as a movie house in 1938, then reopened as a nightclub in 1977. (Picture Courtesy: The Vogue)

      Tech Vets Purchase Popular Indy Nightclub

      A group of Indianapolis tech entrepreneurs has bought a popular nightclub in the city's Broad Ripple neighborhood. High Alpha co-founder Eric Tobias and former MOBI executives Scott Kraege and Andrew Davis say they will retain the Vogue's current staff to manage the venue's day-to-day operations. The new owners say they will detail plans to reinvigorate the Vogue through enhanced fan experience and engagement in the coming months. Tobias, Kraege and Davis purchased the Vogue...

    • (Image courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts.)

      Colts Announce 2019 Regular Season Schedule

      The 2019 NFL schedule is out and the Indianapolis Colts will play in several high-profile games. All three of the Colts’ 2019 primetime games will be on the road against defending division champions. 

    • Bryan Brenner is the CEO of FirstPerson and a founding partner of Performance Lab.

      FirstPerson Execs Launch Performance Lab

      A new firm founded by executives from Indianapolis-based FirstPerson says it wants to help companies strengthen performance. Performance Lab uses a field test known as the Performance Climate Survey, which provides insights into a company’s performance culture. Founding Partner Bryan Brenner, who is also the CEO of FirstPerson, says the firm has already landed a number of early customers, including Goodwill Industries, the Indy Chamber and the Central Indiana Community Foundation.

    • Skilled Nursing Facility Proposed for Merrillville

      A new $7 million skilled nursing facility is being proposed in Merrillville. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the development would include five residential buildings outfitted with 12 beds, a dining area, beauty salon and spa. 

    • 2019 'Stellar' Finalists Announced

      Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch has unveiled the finalists for the 2019 Stellar Communities Program. The four regions selected will receive a planning grant and work with the Indiana Communities Institute at Ball State University on project alignment and continued planning efforts. Stellar Communities, launched in 2011, is led by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs and aims to boost community and economic development and promote local and regional partnerships.