Friday, January 30, 2015

On the Farm with The Internet of Things

A good, non-flashy example of The Internet of Things at work, on a farm, from Ofcom.  I like this because it shows a practical use, and you can imagine it making a real difference to how farming works.

"What is it?
Fertilizer, fodder and water distributed across the farm in the right quantities, in the right places, and at the right time.

How does it work?
In the future low-cost wirelessly connected machine-to-machine (M2M) sensors are likely to be sown into fields to measure moisture at different depths below ground. This information will be beamed wirelessly to a central control system, which sends water to the crops that need it and at a rate that best permeates the ground with minimum waste.

After harvest, grain stores need to be cooled to preserve cereals and minimise any insect activity. M2M communications would also be used to monitor and control the storage conditions of these crops, reducing energy costs, improving food quality and reducing wastage.

What are the benefits?
Better tasting, more nutritious crops produced with less water, fertiliser, pesticides and energy.

With a growing population, there is an increasing demand to improve the productivity of farmland while also protecting the environment. Studies show that M2M irrigation systems can produce water savings of 70%, reducing the need for fertilizers and pesticides and lowering the environmental impacts of farming. Not only that, smart irrigation techniques produced sweeter fruit with higher vitamin C levels.

Emerging today and mainstream in 10 years."

More examples here

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