Between efforts to eat more food grown locally, a younger generation of farmers and cheaper component-farming is getting an infusion of data and technology.
Most of us know about the connected cows, where the milking operations are governed by connected sensors and algorithms that determine how long to milk and cow and which cows need milking. But it’s not just dairy farmers upgrading their technology and connecting their fields: it’s vinters, soybean growers and wide assortment of agricultural interests.
Alicia Asin, the CEO of sensor-making company Libelium, said in a recent interview that 18 percent of her company’s €3 million (about $4 million) in sales this year came from agricultural buyers. By the way, you can see Asin speak at our Mobilize conference in San Francisco on October 16 and 17.
Libelium has a powerful case study with several connected vineyards in the Rias Baixas region of Spain that saw a 20 percent reduction in the application of fertilizers and fungicides, and a 15 percent improvement in growing productivity. But vineyards aren’t the only interested cohort. Modern Farmer had a story in May on a greenhouse farmer used sensors to track the temperature in his greenhouse and notify him when temperatures rose too high. The same article detailed how Steve Spence, an amateur organic farmer in South Carolina, built a system that uses water (and waste) from his fish pond to irrigate and fertilize his vegetables. The water quality sensors help him know the right time to unleash the pond water.
The key in the Spence story (and the article) is that commercial sensors for farms are now getting cheaper and we have open protocols to help DIY farmers put it together.
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc