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

    • Leaders Know How to Set the PACE

      Whether or not you’re a fan, you are probably familiar with the most important car in the starting field of most any major race event.  It’s the one car at the beginning of the race, the pace car, that provides the most important lessons since it plays a vital role in leading the way and helping the race get off to the appropriate start. There’s a lot for leaders to learn from that role. Having led countless nonprofits and business teams, and now consulting...

    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

    • (Image courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts.)

      Colts Announce Training Schedule, Title Sponsor

      The Indianapolis Colts and the city of Westfield have unveiled the schedule for the team's 2019 training camp at Grand Park Sports Campus. The camp will be held for the second time at the venue as part of a 10-year partnership announced last year. The team also announced the camp's title sponsor will be Indianapolis tech company...

    • TechPoint CEO Mike Langellier is among the event's speakers.

      New Partnership Goes on the Hunt for Tech Talent

      A new effort to attract top tech talent has launched in Indiana. TechPoint, the state's technology accelerator, is teaming up with Indianapolis-based TMap LLC, to find former Hoosiers currently working out of state in the tech industry and bring them back to Indiana. Through the initiative, the partners will identify the top 25 applicants who will be invited to a red carpet weekend this fall that will feature meetings with potential employers and events showcasing quality of life...
    • (photo courtesy of Dan McGowan)

      Senate Study Committee Assignments Revealed

      Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) has announced the interim study committee assignments for 2019. The interim study committees are set to meet this summer and fall to discuss a variety of topics ahead of the 2020 Indiana General Assembly.

    • (photo courtesy of the Indiana State Teachers Association)

      Former ISTA President Dies

      The former president of the Indiana State Teachers Association has died. Nate Schnellenberger began working with the ISTA in 1987 and was elected president in 2007, a role he held for six years. He was 68.

    • KSM Consulting Acquires Web Development Company

      Indianapolis-based KSM Consulting is adding to its portfolio. The firm, which specializes in technology, data analytics and management consulting, has acquired Connect Think, an app development company also based in Indy. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.