IoT Technologies Can Aid in Crop Input Management

The use of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, such as sensors and real-time data, will allow farmers to more accurately measure and manage crop inputs, as well as to more easily and efficiently identify which planting areas are more productive and which do not perform based on the inputs applied.

With an increased investment in IoT-enabled technologies, the automated collection of environmental conditions and other crop-related inputs and the resulting output of contextualized data has become more meaningful and actionable, says Benjamin Doyle, Vice President of Major Accounts for Senet, Inc., a provider of cloud-based software and services platforms for the build out and management of IoT networks.

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Benjamin Doyle

“Adjusting inputs based on more accessible data will provide farmers with a better understanding of the real drivers of yield productivity for their crops and varieties,” Doyle points out.

While overall savings throughout the agriculture supply chain is difficult to predict, Doyle says there is the potential for savings across several key areas through the use of IoT-enabled technologies, including the conservation of as much as 90 percent of irrigation water; the reduction in chemical use by 30 to 50 percent, resulting in improved food quality; and a significant reduction of food waste in the supply chain (currently estimated at 40 percent).

“The availability of low-cost sensors allows farmers to more accurately analyze soil composition in a greater number of growing areas.” Doyle says. “By more accurately measuring soil composition to determine the optimal application of chemicals (applying them only where and when they are needed) usage can be decreased.”

By driving efficiencies into the growing process, farmers should be able to optimize their crop input purchases. The expected result is better-timed purchases, Doyle says.

There are numerous IoT-enabled processes operational throughout the agricultural supply chain.

Farmers can share crop and yield related IoT data with the manufacturers and distributors of crop inputs, which can help them optimize production and delivery cycles, resulting in reduced costs and improved production and delivery efficiencies.

Applying IoT technologies throughout the agricultural supply chain will result in contextualized data that is more meaningful and actionable to farmers and crop input suppliers. This data will help the manufacturers and distributors of crop inputs optimize production and delivery cycles, resulting in reduced costs and improved production and delivery efficiencies, Doyle says.

“Smart farming technologies are contributing to an optimized supply chain,” Doyle notes. “Agriculture suppliers are able to better manage yield, improve inventory management and enhance delivery services. Ultimately, the technologies contribute to an automated supply chain where inputs can be delivered in real time based on supply and demand.”