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

    • #MeToo, Bullying And What We All Can Do Now

      Indeed, it is an interesting time with so much continuing to come out in Hollywood, the media, other industries, and even our state government related to the sexual harassment of women - women who have remained silent for years. Like those women, I too have been harassed in various ways over the course of my career, even in recent years - and yes, even in top leadership roles. The headline about my departure or the email citing that I was moving on never fully told the real story.

    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

    • U.S. Steel 'Renaissance' Spurs $750M Gary Works Investment

      Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel Corp. (NYSE: X) has announced a $750 million investment in its Gary Works operations. The company says the funds are part of a $2 billion asset revitalization effort that will take place over the next five years. Last year, U.S. Steel detailed plans that involved pumping $35 million into Gary Works, which followed the $23 million first phase of its Hot Strip Mill Restoration Plan. The latest investment, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. says...

    • Taxman, Metazoa Winners in 'World Beer Awards'

      Two Indiana breweries have received recognition from an international beer competition. The World Beer Awards honor "the very best internationally-recognized beer styles" through a series of judged tasting rounds in multiple locations throughout North America, South America and Europe. Bargersville-based Taxman Brewing Co. and Metazoa Brewing Co. of Indianapolis were named style winners in their respective categories. The two breweries were also ranked tops in the U.S...

    • Survey: Indiana Farmland Values Rise

      A survey published earlier this month in the Purdue Agricultural Economics Report shows farmland values and cash rents throughout the state rose slightly this year. Purdue Agricultural Economics Professor Craig Dobbins says the June 2018 Purdue Land Value Survey aims to give people an idea of what is happening in the farmland market.

    • Ball State Reverses Decision on Schnatter

      The Ball State University Board of Trustees has changed its tune and will remove the name of Papa John's International Inc. (Nasdaq: PZZA) founder John Schnatter from the university's Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise. During a special meeting Thursday, the board also voted to return the $3.25 million grant awarded by the John H. Schnatter Family Foundation in 2016. The board voted 8-1 with trustee Jean Ann Jean Ann Harcourt providing the sole...

    • Fort Wayne Radio Icon Butcher Passes Away

      A fixture in the Fort Wayne radio scene has passed away. Charly Butcher spent more than 30 years in Fort Wayne radio with a successful morning show on WMEE-FM and, most recently, as host of "Fort Wayne's Morning News" on WOWO radio. Butcher was 61. Butcher was part of WMEE's popular "Those Two Guys In The Morning" show with Tony Richards in the 1980s. He joined WOWO in the mid-2000s as host of "Fort Wayne's Morning News With Charly Butcher."