What is Smart Agriculture? The Definitive Guide.

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Smart agriculture is an agricultural expert intelligent system, agricultural production control system and organic agricultural products safety traceability system three systems use the network platform technology, using cloud computing method, implementation of agricultural information digitization, intelligent automation of agricultural production, agricultural management, so as to build a low carbon energy saving, high efficiency and high yield, green ecological system of modern agriculture. This article will give you a comprehensive understanding of smart agriculture.

1. What is smart agriculture  

Intelligent agriculture refers to an advanced agricultural production mode that adopts industrial production to achieve efficient, sustainable, and intensive development under relatively controllable environmental conditions. It is a mode of intensive large-scale operation with advanced agricultural facilities matching open land, high technical specifications and high benefits.  It integrates scientific research, production, processing and sales, realizing annual, all-weather and off-season enterprise-scale production;  It integrates modern biotechnology, agricultural engineering, agricultural new materials and other disciplines. Relying on modern agricultural facilities, it has high scientific and technological content, high added value of products, high land yield and high labor productivity. It is a cross-century project of China’s agricultural new technology revolution.  

Intelligent agriculture is based on IoT technology, via various wireless sensors real-time collection of agricultural production site lighting, temperature, humidity and other parameters.  After the collected parameter information is digitized and transformed, the real-time transmission network is summarized and integrated, and the agricultural expert intelligent system is used for timing, quantitative and positioning cloud computing processing, and the specified agricultural equipment is automatically opened or closed by remote control in a timely and accurate manner.  For example, with the use of Internet of Things technology(IoT) in agriculture, should fruits and vegetables be watered?  Fertilization, dosing, how to maintain accurate concentration?  Temperature, humidity, light, carbon dioxide concentration, how to implement on-demand supply?  A series of crops in different growth cycles have been “fuzzy” to deal with the problem, are real-time quantitative “accurate” information intelligent monitoring system, farmers just press a switch, make a choice, or completely by “command”, can plant good vegetables, raise good flowers.  

2. The history of smart agriculture  

The history of smart agriculture

Smart agriculture took off in the United States in the early 1980s.  Due to the rapid development of information technology and intelligent technology, agricultural technologies such as crop planting management and soil metering formula fertilization have become the seeds of the early development of intelligent agriculture.  By the 1990s, the satellite positioning system had been widely used, information technology had been widely popularized, and agricultural production had made great progress.  In the 21st century, the development of smart agriculture has taken shape, improved agricultural production capacity and efficiency, and made agriculture a sustainable and efficient industry.  

3. Precision and digital agriculture  

Precision and digital agriculture

1. Intelligent agricultural information collection and digital resource utilization  

Make full use of modern earth space and geographic information technology, sensor technology, with convenient information recognition technology to obtain all kinds of product information related to crop production and environmental parameters, the cultivation, sowing, fertilization, irrigation, spraying and weed control field such as digital control, make the resource utilization of agricultural inputs, maximize efficiency.  

2. Agricultural information network globalization expansion  

At present, information technology has deeply penetrated every corner of the world.  The access and service of agricultural information resources are breaking the limit of national boundaries and accelerating toward internationalization and globalization.  Through information networks and all kinds of media, the flow of agricultural information in the world is geometrically expanding, and the flow rate is also entering a high-speed era in an unprecedented way.  Agricultural informatization has a profound impact on the world’s agricultural resource allocation and boosts international competition in agricultural trade.  At the same time, agricultural information resource database is developing towards specialization, integration, sharing and knowledge-based management, etc.  

3. Specialized division of labor in e-commerce of agricultural products  

The development of network and communication technology, the popularity of e-commerce transactions and maturity, through the network marketing of agricultural products, it can be finished in an instant information flow, cash flow and physical flow of trade, agricultural e-commerce is no longer deals is the product of supply and demand of operation, but the former order to prenatal, subsequent to the flow distribution and other comprehensive services, namely, closely around the industrial chain link,  In the information management platform to achieve information sharing, management docking and function matching.  

4. Multi-media dissemination of agricultural information  

Video production and compression technology, digital animation technology, virtual simulation technology, mobile network media technology and other multimedia technology, with fast transmission, wide-coverage, vivid images, rich and colorful, easy to operate and other characteristics, for the simplified expression and dissemination of complex agricultural problems provide unprecedented convenience.  

5. Complete application of agricultural information  

With the development of agricultural industrialization, the requirements for the correlation degree of prenatal, production and postpartum links are getting higher and higher.  Information systems such as prediction and early warning, consultation and decision-making, production management, policy regulation, market analysis and promotion and marketing are organically connected and interrelated, and the implementation of whole-process service and monitoring of agricultural production cannot be separated from sensitive, accurate, reliable and systematic information services.  

6. Intelligent agricultural production management  

With the new development trend of information and communication technology universality, integration and intelligence, as well as the rapid development of perception recognition technology and wireless sensor technology industrialization, agricultural intelligent technology will be widely permeated in all aspects of agricultural production management process.  With the help of cloud computing and intelligent database system, massive data can be analyzed, information processing, prediction and modeling can be carried out, and information resources can be used to maximize the deep insight and accurate judgment of the production process and market dynamics, so as to make faster and better decisions. 

4. Advantages and benefits of IoT in agriculture  

Advantages and benefits of IoT in agriculture

Advantages of smart agriculture  

1. The integrated technology of water and fertilizer in smart agriculture can effectively avoid the waste of water resources in China, achieve precise irrigation and save fertilizer at the same time. The intelligent irrigation and fertilization process can also effectively save labor costs, thus saving time, so that science and technology can help farmers achieve time freedom.  

2. Smart agriculture system adopts low power consumption design, which can reduce energy consumption and achieve energy conservation and environmental protection.  

3. Environmental sensor monitoring equipment brings great convenience to farmers. It can carry out real-time detection of crops through front-end sensors and then transmit back the data to the cloud platform.  

4. With the increase of optical cable and wireless transmission technology, farmers can break through the limitations of time and region and understand the production status of crops anytime and anywhere. At the same time, the increase of wireless equipment also avoids the fire hazard caused by wiring and reduces construction costs.  

5, the production status of crops can not only be displayed from the computer, but also be observed via playback and video recording. At the same time, mobile phones can also observe the state of crops, making farmers’ agricultural planting more and more intelligent.  

6. Through smart agriculture, the output of crops can be greatly increased, the quality of crops can also be improved, and ultimately the income of farmers will increase, and the national economy will develop faster and faster.  

Smart agriculture is a new agricultural development model developed on behalf of the Internet of things in the field of agricultural development.  Essentially, it is an agricultural technology that takes Internet-based information technology, Internet of Things technology, cloud computing and mobile communication technology as the core to realize the “Internet of everything”.  

5. Challenges of smart agriculture  

Challenges of smart agriculture

At this stage, smart agriculture is mainly faced with the following five major problems.  

First, agricultural information communication facilities are seriously lacking.  The application of modern computer technology requires basic communication facilities, but the construction of communication facilities in rural areas of developing countries lags behind seriously, resulting in a low level of agricultural digitization and limited timeliness and accuracy of agricultural information.  

Second, there is a lack of unified technical standards for the IoT.  The lack of technical standards for the Internet of Things also restricts the further maturity of smart agriculture, which makes it impossible to meet the demand for resources for standardized agricultural production and comprehensive and extensive access to agricultural information for scientific research.  

Third, the quality of agricultural users needs to be improved.  The relatively low quality of agricultural practitioners in developing countries and their weak ability to apply and accept modern computer technology are not conducive to the popularization of smart agriculture.  

Fourth, the popularization and application of modern agricultural information are insufficient.  In most areas of developing countries, the intensification of agricultural planting is not high and large-scale agricultural production is not strong enough, which is mainly due to the insufficient promotion and application of modern agricultural information.  

Fifth, the promotion of new technology is unfavorable.  Smart agricultural techniques face obstacles from the laboratory to the field, and will need to be expanded in the future. 

Use Cases of smart agriculture  

Use Cases of smart agriculture

Water resources management  

According to FAO, 70 percent of the total is used for agriculture, making it the world’s largest consumer of fresh water.  Farmers can implement precision irrigation to avoid under-irrigation and over-irrigation.  

Farmers are enabled to reduce water consumption by up to 30 percent with connected sensors to measure soil moisture.  

Since crop prices are determined entirely by the cost of irrigation water (as well as fertilizers, pesticides and employed Labour), data-driven cost management can help assess resource efficiency, set attractive prices and win markets.  

Silo and tank level measurement  

Manually monitoring the levels in tanks and silos is time-consuming and error prone.  

Ultrasonic level sensors allow automatic thresholds to be configured to notify that the level is too low or too high.  These sensors are autonomous and their batteries can help run for more than twenty years.  

Measure the temperature and humidity of the barn  

Special storage conditions are required for some crops.  To prevent loss of profits, smart temperature monitors provide an autonomous way to manage temperature and humidity remotely.  Growers can collect and receive information on multiple units in charts and spreadsheets to easily analyze trends and act on the results.  IoT technology helps ensure that temperatures remain consistent and quality is not compromised.  

Collect soil condition data  

Today, the Internet of Things technology has realized a strong demand for data-driven precision agriculture.  The land itself can coordinate the farmer’s best harvest conditions.  Farmers can remotely access temperature data to develop customized adjustment programs with wireless networks.  

Soil moisture data help accurately predict the best planting time, reduce water use, and keep the soil healthy.   

Assist in pest control  

Poor pest management can lead to an unprofitable growing season.  IoT sensors can eliminate manual time-consuming inspections by providing real-time information.  

Once a particular weather pattern is detected, alerts can be created so farmers can prepare ahead of time and mitigate losses.  

Configure tactical pest management strategies based on regular, up-to-date data to constantly adjust how, when, and where pest management plans are applied.  

Livestock monitoring, geo-fencing  

Farmers can use wireless iot applications to gather data about the location and health of their livestock. 

Next generation greenhouse cultivation, no soil and 90% moisture reduction  

Vertical farming is becoming more and more popular.  

Hydroponic facilities can grow fruits, vegetables and fungi faster, cheaper and more cleanly.  Vertical farms can have 12 growing cycles each year.  Because it is located indoors in abandoned factories, parking lots, or warehouses, this installation does not require soil or natural light.  Reuse of recycled water through the same hydroponic system without the need for fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides can greatly reduce operating costs.  

7. Smart agriculture drives the third Green Revolution  

The third green Revolution refers to the era of smart agriculture and forestry. In the future, with agricultural big data and cloud services, advanced sensing technology, precision technology and equipment of agriculture and agricultural content networking technology and equipment, agricultural robot and so on five big core technology represented by the technology innovation will be increasingly mature and widely used in forest fire prevention, ecological protection, precision planting, pest control meteorological early warning, etc.  

8. How big is the smart agriculture market  

How big is the smart agriculture market

The smart agriculture market has seen significant growth in the past few years, mainly due to the advancement and implementation of technologies.  The global smart agriculture market is anticipated to grow from $12.9 billion in 2021 to $20.8 billion in 2026.  

Precision agriculture will have the largest market share during the forecast period  

Growing global demand for food and a growing focus on improving profitability and yield through the implementation of advanced technologies in agriculture are several major factors contributing to the growth of the smart agriculture market. 

Artificial intelligence and data analytics will have the highest CAGR in the precision agriculture software market during the forecast period  

Farmers can analyze temperature, weather conditions, soil conditions, and water consumption with AI.  Precision agriculture uses ARTIFICIAL intelligence to detect pests in plants and plant nutrients.  

Feed management is anticipated to lead the precision aquaculture market during the forecast period  

Feed management is anticipated to lead the precision aquaculture market during the forecast period.  Factors contributing to the growth in monitoring, control and surveillance are the increasing installations of automated aquaculture farm monitoring equipment, such as iot based monitoring equipment, underwater robots and smart camera systems, as well as aquaculture farmers’ increasing focus on the effective management of fisheries to ensure increased agricultural productivity and efficiency.  

Medium-sized farms will lead the smart agriculture market during the forecast period  

In medium-sized farms, because there are so many farms, the use of technology is growing at the highest rate.  Other factors contributing to the higher penetration of technology on medium and large farms include flexibility to integrate software tools into hardware devices, significant labor cost savings through the use of automated tools, and higher return on RoI.  

The Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period  

The smart agriculture market in The Asia-pacific region is anticipated to grow during the forecast period.  The adoption rate of smart agricultural technologies is anticipated to grow rapidly in the Asia-Pacific region.  The increasing adoption of smart irrigation controllers is some of the main factors driving the growth of the smart agriculture market.  

During the forecast period, China will have the largest share in the smart agriculture market in the Asia-Pacific region  

China is expected to take the largest share of the smart agriculture market in the Asia-Pacific region.  China’s smart agriculture market is also anticipated to grow at the highest CAGR.  

The decentralized agricultural industry will be a major constraint on smart agriculture  

The agricultural industry is not dominated by a few large players or a single player.  The agricultural industry has a large number of small players and is very fragmented.  Implementing smart farming techniques on scattered land wastes time, money and resources because of the difficulty of managing, monitoring and collecting data on scattered land. 

Data management will be a major challenge  

Data management is a big challenge for users of intelligent agricultural tools.  Data from farms using smart farming tools is important because it helps farmers make production decisions.  Various critical data related to yield monitoring, variable speed seeding, mapping, historical crop rotation, and yield monitoring are generated on a regular basis.  This data must be managed correctly.