India’s agricultural output ranks second in the world and about 42% of India’s population is employed in the agricultural sector. A sector that has such a huge impact on the country by relying solely on climatic conditions and artificial farming methods seems a bit outdated.
Using sensors to collect environmental and machine metrics provides farmers with informed decisions to improve every aspect of their jobs, whether livestock or crops. The ultimate goal is to increase crop quality and quantity, while reducing waste and optimizing the use of human labor.
The most significant advantage of these sensors is the vast amount of data they can collect, from weather conditions to soil quality to crop growth processes, and collecting relevant data can be a game-changer.
Here’s how sensors can provide more information that benefits agriculture.
Optical Sensors – These sensors use light to measure soil properties and have been developed to determine soil clay, organic matter and moisture content.
Dielectric Sensors – These sensors assess the amount of water in the soil, once we know the amount of water in the soil, crops can be better irrigated, which will lead to better water management. It can also be used to determine soil pH for pesticides.
Adding additional pesticides can be harmful to plants and contaminate soil and water; in addition, repeated use of excess pesticides can create insect and bug resistance, forcing farmers to use heavier pesticides.
Gas sensors are another popular method of detecting pests, where plants release specific volatile gases under pressure, with different compounds being released due to each pressure.
Like the sensors used to monitor soil, some devices can be used to monitor livestock. This is a location-based service that can alert animals when they leave a designated area, which also reduces the cost of the personnel needed.
Placing sensors to detect moisture in the soil will make efficient use and increase crop yields; the system consists of pumps that spray water temperature and humidity based on the humidity data provided by the sensors.
Soil provides nutrients needed for crop growth, and soil chemical and physical properties such as moisture content, temperature, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium heavily influence crop yield. Therefore, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium sensors for monitoring soil health can properly apply fertilizers.
Greenhouse farming helps to promote the growth of vegetables and fruits, greenhouses control environmental parameters through manual intervention, which will lead to production loss, energy loss and more labor costs, but it is less efficient.