Precision Farming

Precision Farming Facts, Statistics and Use Cases

What is Precision Farming? Precision Farming, also known as Precision agriculture or smart farming uses advanced technology, specifically the Internet of Things (IoT), to track, monitor, automate and analyze data for operations.

But let’s start with a quick farming quiz.

  • Q: What was the largest crop produced in the US?
  • Q: What were the top 5 states in the US that have the most farms?
    • Texas – 240,000
    • Missouri – 97,300
    • Iowa – 86,900
    • Oklahoma – 77,200
    • California – 77,100
  • Q: How many farms are in operation in the US?
  • Q: What’s the forecasted market value of precision farming worldwide in 2017 and 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)?
    • A:

Precision Farming graph

According to Statista, the global market size of precision farming is expected to grow from approximately 9.58 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 to 23.14 billion U.S. dollars by 2022. But the U.S. specifically? Alpha Brown in their Agriculture IoT Solutions report estimated that 10% to 15% of farmers have implemented IoT solutions on their farms. Recent agriculture assessments estimate there are just above 2 million farms in the U.S. And 10% to 15% bring that number of IoT capable farms to somewhere between 200k – 300k. Not a large number considering the phrase IoT was first coined in 1999 by Kevin Ashton almost 20 years ago.

Why don’t farmers adopt IoT Solutions?

One major factor is lack of knowledge. According to the USDA NASS Census of Agriculture, the average age of US farmers is 57.5. People find change difficult and especially when they’ve been doing the same thing the same way for so long. Another factor is money. IoT solutions will provide ROI, but it will take time. Deploying IoT initiatives means having the money upfront.

Why should farmers adopt IoT solutions?

The reasons are simple: cost reduction, additional insight, greater efficiency and improved productivity. Here are a few precision agriculture use cases:

Monitoring Crops

Sensors can collect information on humidity, precipitation and temperature. Crop monitoring is further improved with sensor’s ability to measure soil quality and detect specific ion and water levels.

Weather Stations

Sensors collect and share weather data with farmers, enabling them to take proactive measures against livestock and crop loss.

Animal Wearables and Sensors

Wearables and sensors can monitor livestock locations and health. Given the importance of disease detection, the health monitoring function cannot be overlooked. Specially when it can make the farmer aware before more livestock are at risk.

Automated Greenhouses

IoT sensors provide information on light levels, pressure, humidity and temperature. Sensors can automatically adjust the environment in real-time according to the immediate “needs” of the greenhouse like opening a window, turning off the lights and putting the heat on.

Collect Soil Composition

Collected data helps famers chose what to plant, where to plant and when to plant it. Drone’s lasers and ultrasonic echoing technology can spray crops quickly, precisely and efficiently. Further technological developments can equip drones with pod shooters that deploys seeds and nutrients into the soil precisely according to area and depth.

The Future of Farming

Smart Farming improves efficiency, reduces cost and increases productivity while providing insight from the data gathered and analyzed. The metrics provided by the data allows farmers to adjust, change the environment to fit specifications in order to ensure they get the most ROI. Motus is your system integrator, ready to source, deploy and manage your IoT product launch. Connect with us to get started!

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The Author

Alex Mordach

Alexander Mordach is the Director of Technology Solutions. Prior to his current role, Alex worked as an engineer for Phoenix Technologies, bringing UEFI BIOS solutions to the mass marketplace. He is an advocate of groundbreaking technology and is a key player in helping us stay on the forefront of all mobile technologies.

Read more by Alex Mordach

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