Here at Apogeo Space we believe in a democratic world, where anyone can enjoy low cost, fully capable, embedded nanoplatforms’ capabilities.
Through the use of satellite connectivity and advanced sensor systems, farmers can now monitor and manage their operations with unprecedented precision and efficiency.
This blog explores the game-changing impact of agriculture IoT and its implications for the future of farming and livestock management. So, whether you are a farmer or a business owner in the agriculture industry, read on to discover how this technology can revolutionize your operations and capitalize on the growing agriculture IoT market.
Global agriculture IoT market dynamics
The Agriculture IoT market is estimated to expand from USD 11.4 billion in 2021 to USD 18.1 billion by 2026 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.8%.
The increasing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) by farmers and growers, the growing emphasis on livestock monitoring and disease detection, the high demand for fresh produce, population growth, the loss of arable land, the growing use of aquaculture monitoring and feed optimization devices in developing nations, and the strong government support for precision farming practices are some of the factors driving the growth of the agriculture IoT market.
Driver: Increased adoption of remote sensing, VRT, and guidance technology by farmers globally
Precision farming/smart farming could ensure high returns for agribusiness if used to its complete potential. The use of advanced technologies such as remote sensing, variable rate technology (VRT), guidance technology, yield mapping software, GPS, and data management software in agricultural practices help enhance land fertility and profitability, facilitate sustainable agriculture, maximize productivity, reduce the cost of farming, and decrease labor overheads.
Restraint: High initial cost for deploying new farming equipment
A major factor restraining the growth of the agriculture IoT industry is the requirement for high initial investments. Currently, agricultural IoT devices and tools are expensive, thereby making it unaffordable for smaller farmers in developed regions and most farmers in emerging economies. Apart from high initial monetary investment to deploy GPS, drones, and GIS, VRT, and satellite devices, precision farming also requires a skilled workforce to handle these technology-enabled devices.
Challenge: Lack of easy and standardized data management and aggregation tools
Data aggregation is a major challenge in the agriculture IoT market. The data obtained from farms using smart agricultural tools is highly important as this data helps farmers in making productive decisions. In precision farming, large volumes of crucial data pertaining to mapping, variable rate seeding, soil testing, yield monitoring, and historical crop rotation are produced regularly. There is no industry standard for managing agricultural data; this makes the task difficult for growers.
How satellite IoT revolutionizes agriculture
Satellite IoT technology has revolutionized the agriculture industry in several key ways.
Firstly, it has enabled farmers to gather real-time, accurate data about their crops – known as precision agriculture, and livestock, allowing them to make data-driven decisions and optimize resource allocation. With sensors and satellite connectivity, farmers can remotely monitor soil moisture levels, temperature, and humidity, ensuring optimal growing conditions and preventing crop diseases. Livestock management has also greatly benefited from this technology, as farmers can track the location and behavior of their animals, ensuring their health and safety.
Furthermore, satellite IoT technology can improve the efficiency of irrigation systems, as it provides farmers with precise information about water usage and soil conditions.
This allows for more precise irrigation, conserving water resources and reducing costs. Additionally, satellite connectivity enables farmers to access valuable information and market trends, allowing them to make informed decisions regarding planting cycles and product distribution.
IoT solutions must also meet the physical demands of the agriculture industry which favors small size, durable, weatherproof, and long-lasting capabilities. When considering IoT solutions, it is important to make sure technology is compliant with existing regulations and is certified as intrinsically safe.
In conclusion, satellite IoT technology has the potential to revolutionize agriculture by increasing productivity, optimizing resource allocation, and reducing environmental impact. By harnessing the power of this technology, farmers can embrace a more sustainable, cost-effective, and efficient approach to farming, paving the way for a more prosperous future in the agriculture industry.
Technical & economical benefits
Given the remote nature of agricultural operations, satellites will continue to be farmers’ major means of connectivity. The effective application of agritech solutions will depend heavily on recent advancements in satellite connection and the IoT, especially with the LoRa Protocol due to the necessity of low-data transmission. Below, are some recent advancements that demonstrate how satellite technologies will help agritech businesses and/or farmers globally.
Affordable and accessible hardware
For farmers, particularly owner-operators in underdeveloped nations, hardware (HW) costs are always a crucial factor to take into account. On the other hand, IoT nodes require very little power and provide remote connectivity at a reasonable cost. An estimated 80,000 units of these terminals are anticipated to be installed in each of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America by 2028, helping to spur economic growth in these emerging nations.
Apogeo’s pico-satellite constellation enables the use of already available cost-effective HW with long battery life and, a small and portable radio module for LoRa connectivity.
This allows farmers to track livestock and equipment quickly and precisely without having to spend thousands of dollars on equipment, maintenance, and training.
Traditionally, accessing and utilizing satellite solutions has been costly but due to the advancement of technology and expansion of the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation market for pico-satellites as small as 0.3U (10cmx10cmx3cm), this concern is dissolving rapidly. By leveraging global constellations of LEO satellites, these networks can deliver small packets of smart data, effectively providing the information, location tracking, and messaging necessary to reap the benefits of AgriTech without the traditional cost. LEO satellites have already started to offer reliable connectivity to remote locations without increasing the cost (e.g. Apogeo Space) and energy consumption of IoT nodes for soil detection to livestock analysis.
The Environmental Benefits of Precision Agriculture in the United States, a study by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), found that precision agriculture technology has seen an average 4% increase in crop production, 7% reduction in fertilizer use, 9% reduction in herbicide use, 6% reduction in fossil fuels use, and 4% reduction in water consumption.
In their study, AEM estimates the current usage of precision agriculture in the industry as between 10-60% depending on geographical location. The association predicts that a 90% adoption rate would yield: 6% increase in crop production, 14% reduction in fertilizer use, 15% reduction in herbicide use, 16% reduction in fossil fuel use, 21% reduction in water use.
The agriculture sector now contributes around 25% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions; using precision agriculture will greatly lessen this impact. Furthermore, the widespread application of precision agriculture technology benefits farmers and ranchers economically, making it a financially advantageous choice for company owners in addition to being an environmentally responsible one. The adoption of smart technology in the agriculture sector has been slower than anticipated, even with these encouraging numbers.
Paving the way for the improvement in agriculture
In conclusion, the potential of satellite Internet of Things (IoT) technology in agriculture is immense. It has already proven its game-changing impact, transforming the industry with its precision farming techniques, data-driven decision-making, and resource optimization. However, challenges such as the high cost of implementation, data management and security, and limited connectivity in remote areas need to be addressed to unlock its full potential.
The future of satellite IoT in agriculture looks promising, with continuous advancements and research making it more accessible and user-friendly. Government support and collaborations with the private sector will be crucial in overcoming hurdles and creating an environment conducive to its widespread adoption.
As we move forward, stay tuned for more exciting insights into Apogeo’s various applications of satellite IoT technology in agriculture and specific success stories from around the world.
Together, we are paving the way for a new era in agriculture, revolutionizing the industry and ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come.
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