Ashim Goldar

Future of Agriculture - Smart Farming (Part 3)

Blog Post created by Ashim Goldar on Oct 23, 2015

In the last write-up, we spoke about how IOT has started being instrumental in the raising of crops with optimal productivity.

 

Well, crops are not the only part of farming. Considering that a heavy chunk of the human population continues to be primarily non-vegetarian in its food habits, animal husbandry and rearing remains an important facet of farming.

 

Poultry, beef, pork and fish farming witness death due to space cramming, diseases, poor meat quality due to problems in feeding, mis-handling of livestock, and inhumane treatment.

 

While the world has started its rhythmic journey towards a vegan culture, even the portion of humanity that heavily depends upon meat-complemented diet, is growing empathetic towards animal rearing and livestock conditions. There is a loud-pitched demand for a more human approach towards animal farming.

 

This demand, coupled with an increasingly expensive farming environment makes it utterly difficult for livestock owners to ascertain that each cattle is taken good care of and prepared optimally to produce quality meat while ensuring minimum pain to the animal.

 

IOT has come to aid of animal rearing units as such. Starting from gestation to slaughter-houses, IOT now plays an imperative role in every stage of animal rearing.

 

Birth and care for offspring

 

There are chips, loaded with sensors, which, when inserted into a pregnant cattle, give the rearer a precise idea of the mother’s health conditions and vitals related to the foetus. Further, the birth timing can be had a rough idea of, using these chips. This helps in eliminating any chance of offspring death due to poor birthing environment.

 

Once the offspring is born, it can be taken care of, with respect to proper feeding time, signs of illnesses, post-natal infections or contaminated post-birth defects. A connected application can also help farmers keep a track of where the new-borns have toddled away, if by any chance they have been let loose.

 

Tracking strayed cattle

 

It is completely possible to have one or two missing cattle at the end of the day. It definitely means loss to the farmer. Having a chip embedded in the branding tag and connecting it with an application that rests in the farmer’s hands can very well help in tracking such strayed cattle.

 

Managing air and water conditions

 

Poisonous gases being produced from excrement often pollute the air inside stables and barns. Similar is the case with ground conditions, the floor being majorly muddy with urine and excreta.

 

Apart from just giving off bad odour, these conditions can also threaten health and wellness of cattle.

 

Any rising condition of poisonous element, whether in air, soil, or water can be very well measured by the cloud after being fed with data, collected be sensors within barns and stables.

 

Care takers can be timely informed and cleanliness can be handled in a better manner.

 

Intimation about cattle endemics

 

It is common to see one animal get contaminated with some disease and then many others following suite. Often, the cause is something related to air, contact or food.

 

An agile connected system helps cattle farmers to stay proactive to any such out-break and thus, contain a lot of impending loss due to cattle death. More than often, many animals which do not achieve death naturally, have to be euthanized to prevent them from being further causes of contamination.

 

Euthanisation under such circumstances is done in extremely inhuman manners, inviting outcries by animal rights organizations. Everything, mingled up together, can pose huge threat to farmers monetarily.

 

A connected system, competent with IOT integration can help bring down any such possibility to a huge extent.

 

Conclusion

 

IOT is increasingly strengthening its hold on agriculture, and we would say, for good. Crop, meat, egg and milk production can be increased optimally and sustainably, if IOT is utilised in its full essence. There is no space of any debate regarding how important IOT is becoming in agriculture a global industry.

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