News
21 August 2019

Cowsheds, haylofts and pigpens in the cloud. How IoT helps our farmers

RADIM KLABAL

The cost increase of primary production inputs, as well as the lack of people in agriculture production or in managerial positions, raises the question of how to deal with this situation. The answer is offered by smart technologies, also becoming a reality in Slovak and Czech agriculture. Farmers are gradually beginning to take advantage of various elements of industry 4.0, allowing them to increase the efficiency of crop and livestock production.

Let’s take a closer look at one of the latest advancements that can help you solve problems with your farm. It is the Internet of Things, or IoT for short, a wireless network of many devices that communicate with one another and make your life and business easier.

What’s IoT and how does it help farmers to farm?

I came across the Internet of Things for the first time in an article telling the story of a guy by the name of Kevin Ashton. It was in the late 1990s and the Internet was becoming a hot topic. This scientist coined the phrase The Internet of Things to attract the attention of the board of a company to which he had presented his latest microchip.

Imagine that you can tag cattle with smart earrings, which would track the movement and exact location of your farm animals. Moreover, you would receive a mobile phone notification when an animal wanders outside the farm property. The system can also alert you to any suspicious activity, such as theft. This solution is now available from the Australian startup Ceres Tag.

Up to speed in Slovakia and the Czechia

My team and I focus on solutions that help farmers automate their work on a farm. After many discussions with farmers, we realized that for every farm, energy is the primary variable that determines the farm’s financial success. To make the consumption metering as accurate as possible, we offer farmers IoT equipment in the form of sensors. Thanks to them, we can have a detailed look at the costs of individual operations.

What does this mean in real life? A certain amount of water and electricity is required to produce a litre of milk or one kilogram of live animal weight. Our intelligent sensors can show the farmer the actual real cost of production. In other words, they learn where they can save.

We customize our innovations to the needs of every single cooperative separately, because each of them has unique needs and requires an individual approach.

There’s no doing it without technology

The term Internet of Things is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Worldwide IoT Analytics data show that smart farming was one of the top 10 industries in which business IoT projects were implemented in 2018. The trend suggests that new technologies will be introduced more frequently in agriculture. Well, today we can ask our phone “Hey Google, what’s the weather today”. In the future, an entire fleet of unmanned machines will be set into motion by our command. Or not? One thing is certain – thanks to the solutions available on our market, Slovak and Czech farmers can now become pioneers in the agriculture sector. Not in ten years. Now.

Radim Klabal

Cloud & Applications Business Unit Manager

radim.klabal@soitron.com