Modern agriculture offers many technological solutions that allow you to control various events and activities in the fields. Irrigation management, smart soil sensors, satellite crop monitoring, and other technologies provide farmers with opportunities that previously could only be dreamed of. However, despite the reasonably high level of control over various aspects of agriculture and the greater predictability of this sector, the problems are still not over.
Hunger is still a global problem in 2021. Agricultural products can be damaged at various stages, including collection and storage. As a result, we are losing about 14% of the world’s food. A third of the world’s food is also wasted. Food waste should be kept to a minimum to solve the problem of hunger.
Today, farmers can measure the properties of fruits and vegetables at various stages of ripening. In this way, it is possible to control crop development conditions to determine and predict their growth, color, and even shape. It is also an excellent option for deciding when to harvest and reducing waste.
The quality check can be carried out with the help of a smartphone. Scouts take a photo and send it to the experts for evaluation. You get a list of environmental factors and how they affect the harvest. Machine learning models are used for the analysis, and then the farmers receive feedback and can determine what changes and measures are needed.
Smart irrigation technology allows watering based on soil moisture and crop needs. Thanks to the data obtained using these technologies, farmers estimate the water balance using sensors and remote sensing. The use of intelligent irrigation contributes to the more rational use of water and stabilizing the ecological situation.
It is important to note that remote sensing works without the use of additional equipment. By tracking various parameters, including photosynthetically active biomass index and soil condition indicators, you can fully assess the health of your crops. In the future, remote sensing will be able to provide even more sophisticated data.
Post-harvest quality monitoring
The quality standard and storage conditions for products intended for local markets and those requiring long-term transportation may differ. However, it is essential to maintain the quality of products, not only at the growth stage. After harvesting, the products are sent to the packaging shops, which must be sorted, determining their suitability for various consumers. In addition, there are specialized sensors to help sort and classify products through measurements and data. Thus, it’s possible to determine whether the products are suitable for animal feeding or consumption.
Weather is one of the most critical factors that affect agriculture. Therefore, weather modeling tools play just as important a role as the other technologies described. Thanks to the specialized software, it is possible to plan various field activities, including crops, for a year in advance.
Farmers can receive a meteogram containing precipitation, air temperature, wind speed, and direction, etc. In addition, the software identifies and lets you know which days are best to spray. Technologies like these take precision farming to the next level and prepare farmers for literally anything.
Market quality monitoring
IoT sensors may not save the world, but they definitely will provide irreplaceable assistance to agriculture. For example, they can be used to monitor the status of products in real-time. It is enough to put them in the packaging material and set up data sending to the command center. Such a solution will make it possible to monitor the condition of products and remove unsafe ones for consumption.
Food safety is becoming increasingly important, with significant population growth projected by 2050. Accordingly, nutritional security problems will become even more acute, especially in African countries. Automation can play a critical role in solving this problem.
Despite all the technologies used in agriculture today, this sector still faces several challenges. In addition to reducing the impact on the environment, farmers also have to solve the problem of hunger, given the fact that in 30 years, there will be several billion more of us. The demand for food is increasing, while some food is still lost or wasted. Fortunately, existing and evolving technologies offer hope for improving product safety.