The farming and agriculture sectors depend more and more on technology to streamline their processes. Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technology is one of the newest innovations in this field. The low power requirements and extensive operating range of LPWAN networks make them perfect for monitoring and managing sensors and devices in remote and rural regions. Using LPWAN technology has a number of advantages for farming and agricultural businesses, including enhanced productivity, lower costs, and higher yields. The numerous applications of LPWAN technology in agriculture and farming will be covered in this article.
LPWAN Use Cases in Agriculture and Farming
Here are 10 use cases of LPWAN technology in agriculture and farming:
Temperature, humidity, soil moisture, and other environmental variables can be monitored using LPWAN sensors to provide farmers with precise information. Farmers can utilize this knowledge to decide wisely about irrigation, fertilization, and other agricultural practices. If the soil moisture levels are low, the farmer can, for instance, irrigate the crops adequately to ensure that they get enough water to grow and produce a good harvest.
Animals can have sensors attached to them so that their location, temperature, and other vital indicators can be monitored. Farmers can use this information to monitor their cattle and spot any potential health problems early on. For instance, an animal may have a fever or another health issue that necessitates medical attention if its temperature is abnormally high or low.
Farmers can receive real-time data by utilizing LPWAN sensors to track crop growth, weather, and soil quality. Farmers who use this information can make knowledgeable choices concerning irrigation, fertilizer, and planting. For instance, if the soil is too acidic or alkaline, a farmer can improve the soil’s quality by changing the pH level by adding lime or sulphur, respectively.
To choose the best time and frequency of watering, Smart Irrigation LPWAN sensors can monitor the weather and the quantity of soil moisture. This can help farmers reduce water usage, saving them money and conserving water resources. For example, if the soil moisture levels are already high due to rainfall, the farmer can postpone irrigation until the moisture levels drop, thus reducing water waste.
LPWAN sensors can monitor weather variables like temperature, humidity, wind speed, and rainfall. This knowledge can help farmers make informed decisions about when to sow, harvest, and perform other agricultural tasks. A farmer might, for instance, cover crops with a tarp or sprinkle them with water if the temperature falls below freezing in order to prevent crop damage from frost.
Farmers can be informed when they need to take action by using LPWAN sensors to monitor pest activity. With less pesticide and other chemical use, farmers may increase the quality of their crops and cut costs. For instance, the farmer can deploy natural predators like ladybirds or praying mantises to combat pests instead of applying chemical pesticides if the sensors detect a high level of pest activity.
Farm machinery including tractors, harvesters, and irrigation systems may all have their performance tracked using LPWAN sensors. By identifying maintenance concerns early on and preventing downtime, this data can help farmers increase productivity. For instance, the farmer can take the tractor in for maintenance before it breaks down in the midst of the field if the sensor notices that the engine is running too hot.
Crop yields may be continuously monitored by LPWAN sensors, which can give farmers precise information on their produce. This can assist farmers in maximizing their farming techniques and increasing output. For instance, if the sensor notices that a particular crop’s production is lower than anticipated, the farmer can research the cause, such as poor soil quality or pest activity, and take action to make modifications for the following season.
Supply Chain Management
Crops, animals, and equipment may be watched as they move through the supply chain using LPWAN sensors. Farmers and other interested parties can utilize this information to streamline their logistical processes and cut costs. For instance, the farmer may change the supply schedule to prevent spoilage if the sensors notice that a shipment of products is delayed because of bad weather or traffic gridlock.
It is simpler for agricultural experts to make confident decisions that maintain the efficiency of their operations when they have access to more trustworthy data. Farms can adopt more environmentally friendly practices by using fewer fertilizers and fewer resources. They can build baselines and look into the most efficient strategies to achieve significant progress with the aid of data-gathering sensors.
A lot of people picture farms extending across large fields, with crops neatly placed in rows that extend as far as the eye can see. Yet those are not your only choices. Growing in popularity is urban gardening within cities. Individuals frequently use their ingenuity to succeed in various efforts, which include going upward. In Singapore, even a parking lot’s top was converted to a farm.
According to research, LPWAN and IoT alternatives are effective at tracking weather and soil conditions on urban farms. These systems could collect useful information for people who want to produce crops in cities, which is only one of their many potential uses. In another instance, two businesses worked together to implement IoT and a long-range (LoRa) network to better understand the reasons for crop stress on an avocado farm in New South Wales, Australia. Sensors were used to quantify sap flow, vapor-pressure deficits, and other factors as part of this data collection endeavor. Individuals exploited the findings to establish a connection between fruit drop and moisture content.
For farmers, making linkages between favorable or unfavorable events and environmental or crop-care mishaps isn’t always simple or even possible. Smart farming innovations, though, can assist them in finding those crucial ties more frequently. They can then use their newly gained knowledge to advance further and steer clear of obstacles.
People can now easily see the benefits of LPWAN and the IoT in agriculture because to advancements like these. A lot of agricultural specialists invest a lot of money in their farming operations. The outcomes could be disastrous if those attempts are unsuccessful too frequently. Although there are problems that farmers face, smart farming can reduce some of those problems and help farmers continue to be successful.