Smart farming introduced many connected models and solutions for the agriculture space. From sensors to drones and satellite grids- for a regular grower with limited knowledge of IoT, the big question is “where to start”?
Advancements in communications, sensors and analysis enabled growers to increase yield, optimize irrigation schedules, minimize low production risks, monitor critical temperatures and manage crop stress effectively. Introduced new ways to monitor, analyze, and automate routine farming activities.
There’s an abundance of cheap sensors, apps, weather stations out there in the market to make your first steps towards IoT. Most of the applications promise real-time visibility, seamless connectivity and an impressive user interface. The purpose of this article is to outline the basics and find out exactly what a typical grower needs.
Let’s start with the need for monitoring weather. Check the weather channel or subscribe to a weather station- simple and easy. But are you sure the temperature at the base station is the same as it is in different corners of your field? Micro factors like local terrain, soil, buildings, bodies of water can dramatically influence air temperature, humidity and wind patterns across a farm. Relying on these more general weather sources is often a poor representation of conditions in your locality, and more specifically, on your farm. Selecting your weather app is extremely important if you are growing sensitive crops such as soft fruits, berries or grapes. For such crops, even the temperature at the top and bottom of the plant matters.
For these kind of special weather sensitive requirements, ConnectedCrops solution offers weather monitoring capabilities at different heights and different locations within your field. The weather station is located right in your field rather than miles away. Evaluate your field for high and low terrains, and plug in the temperature sensors on different heights for different zones. It allows you to see changes at different heights and evaluate inversion, radiational-cooling, canopy temperature, and other factors. This data can be critical to risk aversion when using turbine, overhead or spinner irrigation, blowers, candles, or other means of protecting the crop.
Once you have accumulated enough data for a specific site or farm, you can make better long-term decisions for rotation, variety selection, and other cultural practices.
After a rainfall, how do you know how much water stays in your field? How long does it stay before it drains from the surface level? How quickly is it absorbed by your crops? Is your irrigation system optimized for a better yield?
The answer is simple- sensors. While selecting the soil sensors, keep in mind the different soil types and terrain. Rather than guessing, let soil sensors monitor changes in your soil for saturation, field capacity and maximum allowed depletion levels. Select a solution that monitors soil data at different depths based on your root structure.
Many systems designed by universities are too complex to install and maintain for a busy grower. Most sensors in the market need professional installations with cables running through the fields. In some cases, data retrieval is done manually by visiting weather station every day to collect readings. The reports are accessible on your computer only and not on your smartphone. We believe the information should be available in your hands at all times to allow effective decision making. Pick a solution that comes with seamless connectivity over cellular network and gives you data on your smartphone in real-time.
For a complete smart farming solution, we highly recommend The Standard Sensor Solution. It gives you real time visibility of the air temperature and soil moisture conditions at every corner of your field. ConnectedCrops is a feature-rich and, scalable platform, that connects wirelessly on a cellular network, is solar powered and grants real-time visibility on any smartphone. Out of the box, it comes with a set of ready-to-use components for a quick installation along with a mobile application.
Advanced Technology For Growers To Optimize Soil & Weather Management
Temperature & Irrigation
Advanced Temperature Measurement
Dual Level Irrigation Measurement
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