Biology, research, and improved techniques have been linked to farming for a number of years. IoT or Internet of Things is an upcoming technology that will cause a dramatic improvement in the way a farm operates.

IoT is a 4th industrial revolution technology. Sensors of all types get connected to a specially designed network to feed information from the physical world to the digital world. In the context of a farm, this could be game-changing.

Practical use cases;

Live stock monitoring – Live stock management can be split into two categories. Theft prevention and live stock management. GPS enabled devices attached to a sturdy collar can give farmers excellent insight into where their live stock are and what they’re doing. In the event of theft, farmers will know where and when their live stock went missing and potentially retrieve them. Live stock management is much more technologically exciting. This comprises collecting a whole host of data and applying AI pattern learning or expert analysis of the data. Temperature probes and various other sensors get deployed to look for biological markers – for example when cattle are in heat. The data will help the farmer better utilise their resources and ensure more successful breeding. In the event that cattle become ill sensors will pick up changes in temperature and other metrics allowing the farmer to take swift action.

Water and rain monitoring – Electronic rain guages and water level monitoring can save farmers huge amounts of time. In one case a farmer in Namibia owned 15 rain gauges. He traveled across his property to inspect the rain gauges each day. He would analyse the data and make water decisions based on those rain gauges. IoT could broadcast a rainfall reading more frequently and store the data electronically. Water levels for animal troughs can also be monitored remotely saving farmers checking on water levels frequently. Irrigation management is the obvious next step. IoT sensors can be placed into the ground to check on the moisture levels where the roots absorb water. This information guides farmers as to how much water needs to be provided in specific areas. Saving water and optimising the watering of crops will save farmers money and time. Weather reports can also be fed into the system helping farmers further optimise water consumption.

Intruder alerts – electric fence monitoring or even motion triggered by someone jumping a regular fence could now give farmers an early warning system. IoT sensors can pick up various intruder triggered events like motion sensors or even noise.

IoT technology applications open farms to many possibilities. There are over 50 different types of sensors that can be deployed across specifically designed IoT networks. Outdoor applications are particularly popular due to the IoT devices ability to be fully autonomous and powered through solar panels.

TechThrive is an IoT solutions implementer. Contact us on 010 007 1717 or www.techthrive.co.za and we will help you understand IoT technology and implement it into your business.