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Impact of Smart Farming Using IoT in the Agricultural Sector

Internet of Things has started changing how we perceive our world. Its impact can be seen across different industries. Several industries such as medical, agriculture, manufacturing,  power, and more are integrating IoT in diverse ways. A good example of the industry that enjoys the benefit of IoT is the agriculture system. IoT technology is gradually gaining momentum in the agriculture industry. Smart farming is simply IoT technology for farming.

Just like the implementation of IoT in smart cities, healthcare, and other fields, smart farming has several benefits and challenges. One way or the other smart farming using IoT has impacted our lives. IoT plays a crucial role in the agricultural field. In the past decades, farming has experienced several technological transformations. It has become more technology driven.

What is Smart Farming?

Smart farming involves the integration of smart technologies like security cameras, automated machines, and sensors to operate and control crops and agricultural lands. The main purpose of smart farming is to improve the quality and quantity of agricultural products while saving energy. Also, we could say smart agriculture refers to use of IoT solutions in farming.

Therefore, smart farming using IoT refers to the use of sensors to gather machine and environmental data to make decisions and as well improve every areas of agriculture. For instance, the use of sensors to control the state of crops can help farmers to know how much fertilizers and pesticides should be used to obtain optimal efficiency.

Although smart farming using IoT isn’t as popular as IoT connected consumer devices, the market is dynamic. The integration of IoT solution in the agricultural sector is becoming more popular. A good example of how smart farming gained popularity was during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, lockdown was initiated and movement was restricted. However, IoT solutions made a great impact as farmers used sensors and automated machines to monitor the growth of their crops and activities happening on the farm.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was shortage of workers and disruption in supply chain. However, smart farming using IoT offered a great solution to these problems. Although smart farming isn’t fully integrated in the agricultural industry, efforts are being made to increase it usage. IoT solutions can help to monitor the condition and moisture of soil.

Since IoT solutions have been used in agriculture, more advanced sensors are being developed. Farmers can connect these sensors to cloud through satellite and cellular network.

What is a Smart Farm?


A smart farm is one which integrates smart technologies and modern communication forms to monitor activities on the farm land. Farmers make use of a wide range of technologies on smart farms. These include sensors to regulate soil moisture, humidity, and soil quality and software to diagnose animal and plant disease.

Automated tools and robotics are usually integrated on smart farms in a way that the farmer doesn’t have to be present at the field. Smart farming helps to minimize the cost of manual labor. A smart farm is entirely connected to IoT in such a way that there is improvement in the quantity and quality of crops.

Applications of Smart Farming

Smart farming using IoT helps to improve the whole agricultural system. Interconnectivity and sensors integrated by IoT has helped farmers to save time and minimize wastage of resources like electricity and water. Also, smart farming helps in monitoring the farm land in real time. There are several applications of smart farming.

Precision farming

This is one of the use cases of smart farming using IoT. Precision farming helps to make farming more precise by realizing some applications like field observation, vehicle tracking, inventory monitoring, and livestock monitoring. Precision farming’s main purpose is to analyze the information gathered by sensors. Also, precision farming enables farmers to get data via sensors and analyze the data to make wise decisions.

There are several techniques used in precision farming. These techniques play a crucial role in enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency. Also, precision farming helps to analyze the conditions of soil and other parameters to help enhance operational efficiency.

Data analytics

The database system has less storage for the data gathered by IoT sensors. Therefore, end-to-end IoT platform and cloud based data storage are crucial in smart farming. These database systems enhance the efficiency of IoT in smart farming. Also sensors are the main source of data collection in the IoT world. The data collected is transformed to information with the help of analytics tools.

Furthermore, data analytics helps in analyzing the conditions of livestock, crops, and the weather. The gathered data helps technological innovations and hence, ensures better decision making. Also, IoT obtains data from sensors, and as such, helps you to have a good idea of the real-time status of plants. With predictive analytics, farmers can have an indepth knowledge about harvesting.

Furthermore, trend analysis enables farmers to predict weather conditions and crops harvesting. Smart farming using IoT has helped in maintaining the fertility of a land and the quality of crops.

Climate conditions

Climate is an important consideration in farming. Therefore, a good knowledge about the climate can help to enhance crop productions. IoT helps farmers to have a real-time status of the weather. Farmers place sensors outside and inside their farmlands. The sensors obtain data from the environment which helps in selecting the appropriate crops which can withstand a particular climatic condition.

The entire ecosystem comprise sensors that detect weather conditions in real-time. There are a wide range of sensors that can detect parameters like rainfall, humidity, and temperature. Also, these sensors help farmers to monitor the weather around them and as well the condition of crops.

Agricultural drones

The agricultural sector has been experiencing technological advancement for a while now. These advancements has revolutionized the operations of this sector to an extent. The advent of drones has really impacted the agricultural industry. Drones are now being used to assess the health of crops and monitor planting.

Aerial and ground drones are playing crucial roles in farming. Drones which have thermal sensors detect areas that need changes in irrigation.

Smart greenhouse

IoT has helped weather stations to adjust climate conditions based on some instructions. Furthermore, IoT implementation in Greenhouse has got rid of the need for human intervention. Therefore, this enables the whole process much easier and more cost-effective. Also, this increases accuracy as well. For instance, the integration of solar-powered IoT sensor help to create inexpensive and modern greenhouse.

Furthermore, these sensors transmit and collect data in real-time and as such, the state of greenhouse can be easily monitored. Also, sensors can help farmers monitor to greenhouse state and water consumption through emails.

Cattle monitoring and management

This is another common application of smart farming. Herdsmen can attach IoT agricultural sensors to animals to monitor their log performance and well-being. Livestock monitoring enables the collection of data on stock-health and physical location of cattle.

For instance, these sensors can help farmers to easily detect sick animals and as such, separate them from others to prevent contamination. Furthermore, farmers use drones for tracking cattle in real-time. This helps farmers to minimize staffing expenses.

Benefits of Smart Farming

Data collection

The greatest benefit of smart farming using IoT is the ability to gather data. Smart sensors collect data which enables farmers to have better control over what is going on in the farm. Also, IoT agriculture sensors inform farmers about the possible changes in soil quality, weather, air ,and humidity.

Enhances product quality

Smart farming using IoT helps farmers to easily figure out the crop cycle. Furthermore, IoT enables easy maintenance of each crop. All this can help to enhance performance. The wide integration of drones or crop sensors enhances the quality of agricultural products.

Enhanced activity management

Smart agriculture technologies enhance overall activity management, all thanks to the data generated by smart sensors. IoT smart agricultural sensors don’t just enhance the process of growing crops, but also enhance equipment efficiency and staff productivity.

Cost and resource management

The integration of smart sensors in farming gets rid of the risk of resource wastage. The high cost of these resources increases the initial capital cost needed to invest in IoT devices. Also, this helps farmers to pay attention on making use of the right amount of resources.

Optimizes scarce resources

Maximizing the use of resources like land, water, and energy help a lot. Smart farming using IoT helps to gather data from several sensors in the field. This enables farmers to allocate enough resources. Also, the integration of IoT in farming helps farmers to save energy and water.

Improves crop health

Smart farming using IoT enables farmers to detect crops that have diseases and how to prevent the spread of the disease. This is very important in monitoring the health of crops. In the long run, it enhances the health of crops.

Factors to Consider when Developing Smart Farming Solution

Earlier, we discussed the use cases and benefits of smart farming. We can see how smart farming using IoT is improving the performance and revenue of farms. However, it isn’t easy to develop farming IoT apps as there are some challenges you would encounter during the development process. Therefore, there are factors you need to take into consideration when investing in IoT farming.

The hardware

Sensors for IoT devices are needed when developing an IoT solution for farming. Your choice of sensor will solely depend on the type of data you would be collecting. Also, the quality of the sensors is important to ensure successful production.


IoT products used in agriculture require maintenance as sensors can get damaged. Therefore, you need to ensure the hardware is very easy to maintain. If not, you will keep replacing your sensors often.


This is another crucial factor you need to consider when integrating smart farming solution. One of the challenges of smart farming implementation is the need for data transmission between several agricultural facilities. There should be a reliable connection between these facilities in such a way that they can ensure non-disruptive operations.

IoT devices integrate various connection protocols. However, efforts are being made to design unified standards. The advent of technologies such as space-based internet will like provide a solution to this issue.


Various applications of smart farming can be designed for use in the field. A farmer should have access to data remotely through a computer or a smartphone. In addition, every connected device should have wireless range to interact with some devices and as well transmit data to the central server.

Challenges of Smart Farming Using IoT

Smart farming experiences several challenges. Despite the benefits of smart farming, this concept is faced with some challenges.


To ensure the smooth operations of IoT devices and IoT sensors, there is a need for connectivity. Farmers need connectivity in barns, greenhouses, and fields. Also, the connection should be uninterrupted and smooth. It should be able to tolerate severe weather conditions.

Limited time and resources

The integration of smart technology plays a crucial role in smart farming. The problem faced by smart farming in this context refers to lack of time and the changing environment. Companies that develop and design IoT for farming need to consider climate change and adverse factors such as dying pollinators.

Lack of scalability

Large corporations and small farmers should integrate the same technologies at various scales. Therefore, this would make scalable solution much faster and easier than production expansion.

Design and durability

IoT agricultural system must handle the conditions of outdoor spaces. Sensors and drones used in smart farming should have function and uncomplicated design. Also, they should have a particular level of robustness.

Cybersecurity threats

It isn’t easy to detect any cybersecurity threats to data. This is one of the greatest challenges of smart farming. Cybersecurity threats can result in high risk of data leakage. Therefore, farmers must look for means to protect their data at all costs. They can achieve this by enhancing the security of devices and restricting internet connection for IoT devices.


Smart farming has several benefits and challenges. Although smart farming using IoT isn’t as popular as IoT connected consumer devices, the market is dynamic. The integration of IoT solutions in the agricultural sector is becoming more popular.




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