Farming is ever-evolving. Far beyond horse and plow, modern agricultural advances are driven by technology, connectivity, and the insights provided by big data. While around the globe farmers are facing the effects of climate change, decreasing natural resources, finite arable land, and labour shortages due to urbanization, smart farming with data-driven agriculture will enable them to grow more with less, closer to where people live. With an additional two billion mouths to feed expected over the next 30 years, smart farming capabilities are a necessity, not a luxury.
What is Smart Farming?
Smart farming relies on advanced technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and artificial intelligence (AI), to provide optimal conditions for plant growth. For example, AI technologies like autonomous machines can help you optimize crop production, and Internet-enabled sensors can help you collect, analyze and act on crop data from anywhere.
Smart grow facilities can produce higher-quality crops with less waste, as they provide you with real-time data to plan and optimize resources and outputs. The end goal of smart farming is to feed the world through sustainable, automated, connected, and environmentally friendly crop production.
Technologies Used in Smart Farming
Smart Farming uses precision farming solutions designed to optimize the growing environment, production, and distribution, including:
Sensor technologies to monitor and manage light, water, soil, temperature, and pesticide requirements
Smart hardware, including intelligent lighting, robotics, and autonomous machines
Control software to regulate IoT devices and sensors
Data analytics solutions to monitor cultivation, predict and prevent crop and system issues, optimize the supply chain, track equipment, and more
The Benefits of Smart Farming
The worldwide market value of smart precision farming is growing fast. It is expected to reach US $12.8 billion by 2026, more than doubling its 2019 value of approximately US $5.5 billion. As farming continues to progress towards a future of connected sensors and systems that leverage data insights, you will be able to:
Maximize crop quality and yields year-round
Streamline operations and improve productivity
Grow healthier, tastier, and more beautiful crops
Better allocate human and natural resources
Cultivate closer to the table and improve crop shelf life
Preserve the environment and reduce waste
Optimize energy use and save on costs
Smart farming enables you to access, record, monitor, and analyze valuable cultivation data. The use of remote sensors means that smart farms can be managed from anywhere and more farms can be managed at once.
Using AI and the data collected from your remote sensing equipment – tracking light, temperature, weather, and more – you can optimize the growing conditions of your crops in real-time. Statistical models and algorithms applied to the data can also predict future crop requirements to optimize growth. This is all good news since farmers will need all the help that they can get to keep up with future food demand.
Smart Farming with helioCORE™
While there is so much about the future that is out of our control, lighting shouldn’t be one of them. Using light sensors and daily light integral (DLI) analysis, the HelioCORE™ system can monitor and control your intelligent Heliospectra lighting system to provide the correct daily light integral, intensity, and spectra to your plants.
Smart farming techniques that use intelligent LED lighting and controls can:
Enable you to manage light remotely in real-time
Sense crop needs and automate lighting response
Control DLI and add supplemental light during low-light times and seasons
Deliver the light spectra your plants need at each growth stage
All of the above, combined with other smart farming tools, can enable you to provide the most beneficial growing conditions for crops, from seed to finish. Smart farming can also help you better control yield consistency, forecasts, and production cycles, so you can meet customer demand throughout the year. Such data-driven agriculture can provide the necessary intelligence to hone cultivation best practices, including when to plant and harvest, the light spectra to use at each growth stage, watering schedules, and more.
Experts predict that by 2050 we will need to increase food production by a daunting 70%. To meet the demands of the growing world population amidst finite resources, smart farming technologies can enable agriculture to scale to the needs of the future. Multiple crops in different locations can be monitored and controlled remotely from anywhere to ensure the highest quality yields. Manual processes can be automated to mitigate labour shortfalls, reduce labour costs and increase production. Predictive analytics can ensure optimized production and distribution to keep the world fed in all regions and in all seasons.
Smart, sustainable cultivation is here.
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