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

    • Tax Planning: Now’s the Time to Tackle It!

      Year-end is still months away, but smart investors have already begun their tax planning. Spending time analyzing your capital-gain situation could benefit you come next April 15th, no matter what investment vehicles you use - individual securities, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, or others. Here's how…

    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

    • Indy Hotels Among Top in Midwest

      Three Indianapolis hotels are among Condé Nast Traveler's Top 25 Hotels in the Midwest. The rankings include two hotels that have made the list three years in a row and one making its debut. The JW Marriott Indianapolis ranks third on this year's list, followed by The Conrad, which is eighth and Ironworks Hotels appearing on the list for the first time at number 17. You can see the full rankings by...

    • Ambrose Amps up Ambition For Old GM Stamping Site

      An Indianapolis-based developer has greatly expanded its original investment plans for the city's former GM Stamping Plant site. Ambrose Property Group's vision now includes projects totaling nearly $1.4 billion, more than doubling the $550 million scope detailed last year. During a community event Friday, the company and Mayor Joe Hogsett announced the name of the more than 100-acre, downtown district: Waterside. Plans now call for...

    • Indy Airport Scores Top Honor Again

      Indianapolis International Airport has again been named Best Airport in the United States by a global leisure publication. The Condé Nast Traveler recognition is the fifth straight for IND. The Best Airport designation is part of Traveler's annual Readers Choice Awards, which is built on feedback from more than 100,000 comments and millions of ratings. In addition to airports, favorites were tallied for hotels, resorts and destinations.

    • Daniels Envisions Purdue, Region as 'Cooler Place'

      Purdue University President Mitch Daniels says a more than $1 billion live, work, play development on the West Lafayette campus will be a magnet for attracting and keeping top talent in the region. The Discovery Park District is part of a 30-year vision to transform the west side of the Purdue campus and create a "preeminent environment" for educational, economic, cultural and community activities in the region.

    • NTN Driveshaft Proposing $90M Expansion

      NTN Driveshaft Inc. in Columbus is planning a $90 million expansion. In a tax abatement request with the Bartholomew County city, the automotive component supplier said the investment will lead to 74 new jobs and help retain a current full-time workforce of nearly 1,600. NTN Driveshaft is one of the largest employers in Columbus and last year, it opened a more than $140 million facility in Anderson. It launched operations in Bartholomew County in 1989 and says...