Nearly 250,000 US farmers already using IoT technology, study finds
The study highlighted that over 1 million farmers in the country have expressed interest in the implementation of IoT tools
Internet of Things (IoT) solutions are already being used by nearly 250,000 farmers across the United States, according to a recent study by agricultural technology market research firm Alpha Brown.
The study included a survey of more than 1,600 farmers and ranchers in the country.
Alpha Brown’s study highlighted that IoT solutions are being mainly used in the livestock and crop segments. The technology is also utilized on a smaller scale in other farming operations, such as dairy, vegetable, fruits and greenhouses.
The study also reveals that more than half of U.S farmers have an interest in buying such solutions, which reflects a market potential of 1.1 million farmers and market size of $ 4 billion a year.
IoT is used in agriculture to control remote instruments and sensors in order to optimize work on the farms. IoT solutions enable farmers to use different tools, such as smart sensors (measuring light, temperature, soil moisture, rainfall, humidity, wind speed, pest infestation, soil content or nutrients, location, etc.), applications and systems to improve productivity processes.
“We believe that in order to develop a profitable product or to make smart investments, a broad and detailed understanding of the potential farmers’ demand is needed,” says Gil Rabinovich, CEO of Alpha-Brown. “IoT is still a developing market in the ag-tech world, and it is important for suppliers to fully understand the farmers’ interests and expectations of the emerging technologies. Our research indicates that the market has much room for growth and that is certainly encouraging.”
Precision agriculture uses IoT applications, which help farmers to increase the quality, quantity, sustainability and cost effectiveness of agricultural production. These tools allow the farmers to know what seeds to plant, the amount of fertilizer they need to use, the better time to harvest as well as the expected crop outputs. Through the implementation of IoT, farmers can also monitor sensors that can be used to detect soil moisture, crop growth and livestock feed levels, among other key functions. The sensors can also remotely manage and control connected harvesters and irrigation equipment.
Certain IoT platforms used in the agriculture industry allow farmers to manage the large amounts of data collected from sensors, cloud services such as weather or maps, connected equipment and existing systems. The platforms also leverage big data and analytics tools to provide insight and recommendations to improve the decision-making process.
A previous report by Beecham Research highlighted that the agriculture industry needs to adopt IoT tools in order to meet the expected food demand by the increasing population globally. According to Beecham Research, the adoption of smart farming tools will intensify from 2017 to 2020.