Benefits and applications of IoT in smart farming and smart agriculture

Benefits and applications of IoT in smart farming and smart agriculture


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has estimated that farmers will have to produce 70% more food in 2050 than it did in 2006 in order to feed an expected global population of 9.6 billion by 2050. Increasing world population means that food production and farming needs to get increasingly productive and capable of high yields in limited time. In this era of increasing population where we must produce more food with fewer resources, the scope for manual experimentation, viability assessment through trial and error, etc.,are no longer feasible. So, in order to feed this immense population, the adoption of IoT by the agriculture and farming industry is now very much imperative.

The demand for more food has to overcome challenges such as, rising climate change, extreme weather conditions and environmental impact that  results from intensive farming practices. Smart farming using IoT technologies will help reduce generated wastes and enhance productivity. So, smart farming and smart agriculture mostly refers to the application of IoT solutions in agriculture. 

There are numerous benefits of implementing a smart agriculture solution into commercial and local farming. In this current era where the internet of things is accelerating adoption of data gathering and automation,an important industry such as agriculture can surely benefit. Monitoring and collecting data for soil moisture, air temperature, air humidity and sunlight intensity across an array of different fields will enhance the efficiency of water usage and improve the crop yield of large and local farms alike. With increasing population in the world, farming \and food production also needs to increase along with it. Low cost sensors, data insights and IoT platforms will assist in increasing efficiency and production. So, smart farming is basically a high-end technology for growing food that is clean and is sustainable for the masses. Also, the induction as well as the application of ICT ( Information and Communication Technology) has made the entire process much more effective and tenable.


Among the numerous benefits of using IoT in agriculture, knowledge is certainly the greatest benefit IoT brings to crop farming. By using multiple sensors fitted and mounted throughout a field, a farmer has continued access to essential statistics like soil humidity, weather forms, mineral levels, and the amount of light the plants are exposed to. This in turn helps farmers make better irrigation decisions as well as save pollination costs. Likewise, it helps save a significant amount of money while confirming the fact that the crops are properly harvested.

Another obvious benefit of using IoT in agriculture is increased efficiency. IoT-enabled agriculture will allow farmers to monitor their product and conditions in real-time and hence help get insights fast, predict issues before they happen and also make informed decisions on how to avoid them. Also, its without a doubt that IoT solutions in agriculture introduces automation, for example, demand-based irrigation, fertilizing and robot harvesting, and accordingly, it leads towards less human inputs. 

Weather forecasts, made with the help of smart weather stations, also play a significant role in influencing a farmer's decisions about when to plant, spread on fertilizer, harvest, and so on. This helps in lowering waste and also results in better yields while reducing the adverse effects of hostile weather conditions. Again, fleet robotics and optimization are also benefited by IoT. Using proper information on the fields doled out to connected vans, farmers can significantly reduce the number of spins required to manure them. 


1.Precision farming: 

Precision agriculture or precision farming is a method or process that makes the farming process more precise and controlled for raising livestock and growing crops. This process mainly uses IT and items like sensors, autonomous vehicles, automated hardware, control systems, robotics, etc. In recent years, precision agriculture has turned out to be one of the most well-known applications of IoT in the agricultural sphere and numerous organizations have started using this technique all over the world. The products and services offered by IoT systems include soil moisture probes, VRI  optimization, virtual optimizer PRO, and so on. VRI (Variable Rate Irrigation) optimization is a procedure that capitalizes on the viability of irrigated crop fields with the variability of soil, thereby improving yields and increasing water use efficiency.

2.Agriculture drones:

Agricultural drones are another good example of IoT applications in agriculture. Nowadays, agriculture industries have turned out to be one of the major industries where drones can operate. Two types of drones are being adopted in agriculture- ground based and aerial based drones and they are used in many ways such as, for crop health assessment, planting, irrigation, and soil & field analysis. The agriculture industry is expected to be given a strong boost through the implementation of drone technology by making use of strategy and planning based on real-time data collection and processing. 

3.Livestock monitoring:

IoT applications assist farmers in collecting essential data regarding the location, well-being and health of their cattle. This information helps them in assessing the the real-time condition of their livestock. Such as, finding and separating sick animals from the herd so as to prevent the spread of the disease to the entire cattle. The feasibility of ranchers to locate their cattle using IoT based sensors reduces labor costs by a substantial amount.

4.Smart greenhouses:

Greenhouse farming is a technique that improves the yield of crops, vegetables, fruits,etc., to a considerable extent. There are basically two ways greenhouses control environmental parameters- either through manual intervention or a proportional control mechanism.  However, manual intervention is less effective since it has certain disadvantages such as production loss, energy loss, and labor cost. A smart greenhouse through IoT embedded systems eliminates any need for human intervention by not only monitoring intelligently but also controlling the climate. Farmers use different sensors  that measure the environmental parameters according to the plant requirement for controlling the environment in a smart greenhouse. 


When considering  the important dynamics of the world today, the development of the agriculture sector becomes an essential priority. It is for certain that IoT will eventually become a requirement for any agri-business that strives to remain competitive and farmers that don’t embrace this technology will be sure to fall behind. In the years ahead, using IoT in agriculture has the potential to become a driving force of efficiency, sustainability, and scalability in this industry.

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