The Internet of Things (IoT) in agriculture sphere solves several main tasks, among which are:
reduction of operating expenses
identification of land plots problem areas
There is a number of proper ways to solve all these problems such as the Internet of Things (IoT), satellite technologies, self-directed special equipment and various telematics services.
Analysts identify 4 four main reasons that facilitate the movement of enterprises to the Internet of Things (IoT).
Operating expenses optimization
The Internet of Things (IoT) allows anyone to manage an accurate farming. Precision farming technologies consist in revealing single land plot heterogeneities. The various geodatabases are being used for these purposes, helps to analyze the fields with not enough certain mineral substances, pests’ existence and location, etc. The farmer, using this knowledge, contributes a certain amount of chemical protection for plants and mineral fertilizers. During the land monitoring process supporting by geodatabases, there is a possible to predict the time of ripening and the volumes of the harvest.
Modern systems use sensors that detect the amount of pests in a specific area of the field and are capable of automatically spraying chemical plant protection agents only where necessary. Recently, there have also killer drones appeared, which are able to hunt pests even at night.
Special sensors that are installed on the land, at a certain time during the day, analyze the soil moisture. Based on these data, the sensors regulate watering. This allows a significant reduction in water consumption, especially in drylands. In addition, farmers do not need to make watering in manual mode: now they can concentrate on other matters.
The warehouses’ modern equipment for harvest storage allows to measure humidity and temperature in the premises. Automatic adjustment of these parameters leads to the fact that fruits, vegetables, berries and cereals do not deteriorate for a long period of time.
Internet of Things Network
By virtue of the sensors that connected to the network there is a possibility for the real time monitoring of the farmland state parameters such as humidity, acidity and soil temperature. There are two possible scenarios of use are possible: collecting statistical data on soil moisture and introducing an automatic irrigation system.
Farmers that water the land in the old manner can spend much more water than needed. It is quite possible that the soil will be overwatered, and some of the moisture will go deep below the soil, causing an excessive water circulation. An excessive circulation, in its turn, leads to soil erosion, the erosion of mineral fertilizers and the need to re-introduce them. Modern sensors take into account such data as climatic characteristics, soil characteristics, types of agricultural crops used and the phases of their growth. The irrigation system is automatically switched on only when all these factors are considered as acceptable. As a result, farmers cut costs and receive higher yields.
Special sensors are installed in control points in both closed and open ground and are connected via modems to cloud servers. Narrowband radio communication of the unlicensed spectrum is used for the connection. The distance from the sensor to the nearest radio base station can be from 50 m to 10 km. The signal range depends on the terrain. Based on this solution it is possible to obtain information from the territory in a few dozen square meters km. Customers control the state of their farmland in their personal account. All information is provided in a visual form, in the form of tables, graphs, etc.
Due to many parameters analysis, the operator independently decides on watering. If the sensors are connected to the irrigation system, the irrigation is automatically turned on when the soil becomes insufficiently wet for this crop. At the same time, the sensors record when it is necessary to stop watering and avoid excessive soil moisture. Qualitative irrigation of agricultural yields allows farmers to get a larger volume of harvest.
Growth conditions control's complexes for the agricultural harvest
There are also complexes designed to control the plants growth conditions. The complex operates in real time mode and consists of a group of postal sensors, weather stations, equipment management systems and equipment for fertilizer application. Power equipment is completely autonomous. Communication is carried out via radio channel.
Data from the sensors are aggregated using an internal controller and transferred for further analysis to the cloud service.
Once the collected information is processed, the user receives data on such parameters as humidity, temperature and salinity of the soil at different depths at each control point, local climate, illumination and a number of other parameters.
Built-in analysis and data building tools will be useful for creating an "electronic agronomist" system. In the event that the farmer does not plan to automate the processes completely, then based on the received data he independently makes decisions on the impact on the soil and on the cultivated harvest.
GPS and GLONASS in agriculture
The drones that supporting GPS and GLONASS allow for detailed land shooting. Agricultural machinery that equipped with a GLONASS on-board receiver makes it possible to sow grain crops with an error of up to two centimeters. The routes of the connected agricultural machinery are automated; the slightest deviations from the route of sowing operations are fixed and, if necessary, are corrected in real time mode.
The software, based on interactive maps and GLONASS data, allows the most accurate production of mineral fertilizers and the processing of agricultural crops with chemical protection. The GLONASS technology contributes to the accurate way of watering. Satellite GLONASS maps allow anyone to harvest from the most "mature" areas, leaving other areas to maturing.
Major Project’s example and results in California
May, 2014. One of the farms in Fresno County (California, USA) asked local IT integrators to request the implementation of an automated irrigation system. This request was processed by the developer and provider of LPWAN class IoT-solutions.
The pilot project was launched in late May 2014 and covered 36 corn fields. Approximately five hundred sensors were installed, each of them transmitting the soil moisture readings four times a day. The data from the humidity sensors, separated by an area of tens of square kilometers, were received by one base station and transferred to the server of the company via a local network. Based on the data obtained, a visual model of fields with a color gradient was constructed. Plots with permissible humidity and areas requiring irrigation were visually displayed. As a result, water saving for irrigation of common areas for the four months of the test was 38% compared to the previous year. Test sites, irrigated according to the schedule in the usual way, required in some cases up to 60% more water than areas with installed humidity sensors.
Growth drivers of the Internet solutions market of things in agribusiness
A key criteria of "smart" technology usage in agriculture sphere is the implementation profitability. The decision on automation should correspond to economic realities of our market and pay off in acceptable terms. If the investments justify the result, then it can be implemented.
There is a number of growth drivers of the IoT-solutions market used in agribusiness, such as cost decrease of sensors and controllers with support of IoT.
The infrastructure existence is one of the main constraints for the usage of the Internet of Things. Therefore, solutions based on LPWAN-technologies are in great demand in agriculture. The advantages of LPWAN are the high autonomy of the devices from a single battery (up to 10 years without recharging), in the simplicity of network deployment and the low cost of the entire infrastructure.
Internet of Things usage in winemaking
By virtue of the Internet of Things usage and, as a result, the increase of industry efficiency, enterprises and private wineries will be able to control the air humidity, temperature and activity of the sun remotely and in real time. Monitoring will help reduce costs, reduce the dependence of the finished product on the weather, and improve its quality.
A certain set of sensors can detect the appearance of various pests and diseases (such as Erysiphales (powdery mildews), etc.). Based on the information received, the user will be able to localize the necessary tools to eliminate disease and destroy pests. Thus, timely information will help to significantly reduce costs and minimize the risks of crop loss.