In a world of instant gratification, it’s easy to forget there was once a universe without phones, electricity or heavy machinery.
Farming Technology Evolves
At one time, farms were maintained not by tractors, but horses, oxen, and wooden plows; soil was sowed by hand and cultivated by hoe; hay and grain were cut with a sickle. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that gas tractors were introduced to farms. Since then, the farming and agriculture process has continued to improve and evolve into what it is today with satellite technology and bioscience innovation as prevalent as horses and oxen once were.
The average farm is approximately 441 acres and able to produce enough food to feed 155 people. Based on this, simple math tells us farming must expand to support the growing human population. With this increasing demand, comes the need for more efficient and effective farming. Precision farming uses smart control systems, sensors, drones, robotics, autonomous vehicles, variable rate technology, automated hardware, and software to collect and relay data about the soil, environment, plants, and weather to improve productivity.
Innovation Through Precision Agriculture
Though precision farming processes have been around for the past several years, Internet of Things technologies, like Semtech’s LoRa® devices and wireless radio frequency technology (LoRa Technology), are improving the precision agriculture systems and making them a more viable option for all farmers. Here’s a step-by-step process to explain how LoRa Technology can improve a farm’s efficiency:
- Data from the soil, weather, plants, and animals regarding their condition is collected by sensors embedded with LoRa Technology.
- Data is then sent to a LoRa-equipped gateway, and the gateway sends the tracked data to the Cloud server for analysis.
- Depending on the results and application settings, the data can be pushed to a farmer’s mobile device or computer.
By arming themselves with more data, farmers can make smarter, more informed decisions about their businesses. They can detect operational issues earlier, monitor plant health and soil quality, and conserve resources using LoRa-based sensors placed throughout a farm.
Benefits of Precision Farming with LoRa Technology
- Provide tailored care to different plant varieties
- Anticipate changes in farm conditions
- Increase farm yields while reducing resources required
- Minimize in-field workload
- Decrease maintenance costs due to extended battery life
- Experience quick and easy implementation with existing infrastructure; lower up-front investment than alternative technologies that require an infrastructure upgrade
As farming continues to improve to accommodate the increasing needs for food, LoRa-based technologies will continue to evolve and provide solutions to new problems as they arise. Because it is an easily implementable and flexible technology, Semtech’s LoRa Technology will be able to support precision farming practices for years to come.
Find more examples of real world deployments in smart agriculture:
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