AGRO SOLUTIONS: Benefits of using IoT to monitor soil health
The rich diversity and nutrition of the soil is fading due to years of agriculture. Thus, to preserve fertility, it has become essential to combine agriculture and technology. In the era of digitalization, the agricultural sector is undergoing a radical transformation and is relying on precision agriculture. This involves sensors, robots, GPS, data analysis software, etc. to produce healthier crops and higher yields. It promises the sector to move to the next level of productivity and profitability. Precision agriculture further welcomes the concept of IoT in agriculture.
Smart agriculture using the Internet of Things (I oT) reduces costs, increases efficiency, maximizes results, saves water and energy, and more. It helps growers meet the conditions needed to increase crop yield and health, contributing to sustainable agriculture.
The main priorities of smart agriculture using IoT focus on weather, soil temperature, moisture, nutrients and crop conditions. Let’s review some of them.
Soil Temperature: Soil temperature influences root growth, respiration, decomposition and nitrogen mineralization. Farmers need to ensure the most optimal temperatures when planting and growing crops to ensure higher productivity. Temperature sensors placed below ground level and equipped with wireless technologies like infrared when placed strategically can provide farmers with real-time updates on soil temperature.
Soil moisture: Water is an essential nutrient for all plants and fundamental to the process of photosynthesis. Soil moisture also serves to regulate soil temperature; therefore strongly influences the growth and yield of crops. Buried probes with electrodes help to effectively monitor soil moisture content. IoT sensors that estimate soil moisture can monitor and automate irrigation while collecting soil moisture and temperature data.
NPK measurements: IoT sensors can also measure soil nutrient content, namely nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Farmers can detect a nutrient deficiency and determine if they need to fertilize the soil with additional nutrient content to increase crop fertility. These sensors are considerably new to the market and use multiple technologies to maximize accuracy. In addition to monitoring the NPK content, these sensors help detect the pH level and chemical composition of the soil. Because these sensors can monitor changes in soil nutrients in real time, they find applicability in farmland, greenhouses, and soil research.
Solar radiation: Another application of IoT in agriculture is to measure the different types of solar radiation. Solar radiation is the amount of heat that reaches the earth from the sun. It is essential for photosynthesis and therefore has a significant impact on crop productivity. The amount of radiation the soil receives and absorbs also affects soil temperature fluctuations and the evaporation of soil moisture. IoT sensors allow growers to measure photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), ultraviolet (UV), and shortwave to understand correlations and trends.
Weather: Agricultural productivity is affected by environmental factors, such as rainfall, wind direction and speed, humidity, temperature and atmospheric pressure. IoT-based connected devices allow producers to collect data periodically, automatically and remotely. They provide in-depth, data-backed information on farming conditions, making farming more accurate and scientific. It also allows producers to optimize the use of resources, reduce waste, save labor, time and money.
Source: Cropin (