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Agriculture and IoT – How the Two Work Hand in Hand

If a farmer 50 years ago would have been told that that their tractor could basically drive itself or that they could monitor their livestock from the comfort of their home, they would have never believed you. Looking 50 years into the future, I can’t begin to imagine the changes that we will have. This is thanks to major changes and development in technology. Microcontrollers and sensors are now smaller than ever, there are many different connectivity options to choose from, and completely new technologies have been developed.

Drones are becoming a large part of agriculture. Whether a farmer is planting crops, has produce trees or livestock, drones can be extremely helpful. They can help farmers in a wide array of applications from topographical information to seeing which fields are performing best and it’s cheaper than using an airplane and has better accuracy. This has become possible because of smaller and more readily available parts as well as Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is playing an increasing part of drone agriculture technology. The ability to automatically recognize what the camera is seeing and process that data into easily consumable information is a big game changer for the agriculture industry.

Fully autonomous farming implements are going to be a large part of the future for farming. There is already some farming equipment that can run almost completely autonomous, but it’s not readily available. The development of more accurate GPS technology as well as sensors that are rated for agriculture environments makes this a lot easier to develop. Major upsides in this are increased yields and less product needed, both of which equals more profits and more crops available.

Livestock tracking has also changed greatly. A farmer used to have to go out to the field to check on their livestock. Now, thanks to things like RFID or GPS trackers, a farmer can check livestock locations from a smart device such as a cell phone, tablet or computer. This gives the farmer more time, as well as the ability to have a greater number of livestock.

Digi-Key can help with these initiatives with our wide breadth of product. From microcontrollers to sensors to connectivity options and more, we can get stocking products out to much of the world in less than 48 hours. To learn more about how Digi-Key is involved with agriculture and IoT from suppliers to researchers, watch our video series, Farm Different, jointly created with Supplyframe and Amphenol RF.

About this author

Image of Kelsie McMillin

Kelsie McMillin, Partnership Marketing Manager – Strategic Programs at Digi-Key, has been with the company since 2015. She works with all products and services related to the IoT and earned her Associate of Applied Science degree in Electronics Technology & Automated Systems from Northland Community & Technical College through the Digi-Key scholarship program. In her free time, she enjoys going on adventures with her family.

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