The word ‘smart’ is being added to just about anything nowadays- Smart TVs, Smart fridge, Smart home, Smart phone- but is agriculture and farming behind on this trend? Of course not!
The age of smartness has made way into agriculture and to the food we eat. Smart agriculture or precise agriculture puts in the functionality of present-day technology in maximizing the crop yield while reducing the wastage of resources such as water, seeds and fertilizers.
All of the above is done is many ways, with one taking center-stage is sensor technology. It is the crop technology that involves the planting of sensors that map fields and allow farmers to understand crops at a micro-scale to reduce the impact on the environment and take a calculated decision that favors in increasing the quality and quantity of the harvest.
Some Types Of Agricultural Sensors
There are several types of sensors that help farmers monitor and optimize crops. Here are some of the commonly used ones:
- Location Sensors
These sensors make use of the GPS satellites to determine the coordinates. It requires the inter-working of 3 different satellites. Sensor technology is the modern agriculture technology that is the cornerstone of precision agriculture.
- Optical Sensors
These are sensors that make use of light to read the various attributes of the soil. Optical sensors can read the moisture content, the organic matter and help in fine-tuning what extra need to be added. These sensors can be attached to vehicles such as drones or even satellites.
- Electrochemical Sensor
These are the sensors that read information related to the pH of the soil, and the various nutrients that are present in it. It detects the specific ions in the soil, and help in mapping the soil chemical data.
- Mechanical Sensors
It measures the soil compaction and records the resistive forces with the help of strain gauges. This is similar to the technology that involves tractors pulling requirements for ground engaging equipment.
What We Can Learn From The Sensors
- Yield Monitoring And Mapping: You can obtain information relating to the farm mapping, and use the spatial information to make detailed maps that help in planning and execution.
- Variable Spraying: This helps in controlling the spray, the amount that is sprayed and the duration of spray. These can be used in the case of irrigation or pesticides as well.
We are only scratching the surface when it comes to smart agriculture. The untold potential of blending technology with farming can change the very course of humanity’s future.