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Profit-boosting Power of a Connected Farm, Key Benefits and Challenges


2. IoT sensors for crop observation

Connectivity streamlines the crop observation and management process, allowing round-the-clock monitoring through connected devices installed throughout a field — without physical human presence.

Smart sensors can provide up-to-the-minute data on weather conditions, soil humidity, light levels across different planting areas and various other parameters that help farmers choose the best time to plant and harvest their crops. In fact, according to research by the University of Lethbridge, precision agriculture technologies have the potential to increase crop yields by up to 20%.

Collated data enables farmers to spot crop damage, monitor progress, identify pests and forecast production from a specific area. Moreover, since sensors provide real-time data, as soon as any deviations from the norm are detected, farmers can take preventive measures to minimise their losses.

3. Connected devices to monitor livestock

In the same way connectivity enables farmers to monitor crop production, IoT sensors and wearables attached to livestock can keep tabs on animals’ state of health and physical location. Being able to instantly locate an animal eliminates the need for employees to physically check on them, hence reducing overall labour spend. Also, equipped with connected sensors, the ventilation and heating systems in barns can be automatically adjusted remotely, thereby improving the living conditions of livestock with minimal human effort.

Then there are devices which can measure animals’ temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and other health indicators, which helps farmers identify diseases during the early stages, when they’re far easier and less expensive to treat. This also means that an infected animal can be quickly identified and isolated, preventing illnesses from spreading throughout a herd.

Birthing is another example. When an animal goes into labour, sensors can send a notification to the farmer allowing them to provide the attention needed to facilitate a smooth delivery.

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