Smart Farming: ?If the farmer is rich, then so is the nation?!

Smart farming for sustainable agricultural production

A farmer works so the world can eat. His hard work serves food on our plates. Thus it becomes extremely important for us to do everything it takes to help farmers grow. We must relieve them of their plight. India is an agro-based country; hence the science field has made major progress in introducing innovations that help farmers have a better harvest each year with minimal labor. Let?s study a few.

Smart Farming represents the application of modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) into agriculture, leading to what can be called a Third Green Revolution.

Following the plant breeding and genetics revolutions, this Third Green Revolution is taking over the agricultural world based upon the combined application of ICT solutions such as precision equipment, the Internet of Things (IoT), sensors and actuators, geo-positioning systems, Big Data, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs, drones), robotics, etc.

Smart Farming has a real potential to deliver a more productive and sustainable agricultural production, based on a more precise and resource-efficient approach. However, while in the USA possibly up to 80% of farmers use some kind of SFT, in Europe it is no more than 24%. From the farmer?s point of view, Smart Farming should provide the farmer with added value in the form of better decision making or more efficient exploitation operations and management. In this sense, smart farming is strongly related, to three interconnected technology fields addressed by Smart AKIS Network:

? Management Information Systems: Planned systems for collecting, processing, storing, and disseminating data in the form needed to carry out a farm?s operations and functions.

Farm Management Information Systems (FMIS) in agriculture have evolved from simple farm recordkeeping into sophisticated and complex systems to support production management. The purpose of current FMIS is to meet the increased demands to reduce production costs, comply with agricultural standards, and maintain high product quality and safety. This paper presents current advancements in the functionality of academic and commercial FMIS. The study focuses on open-field crop production and centers on farm managers as the primary users and decision-makers. Core system architectures and application domains, adoption and profitability, and FMIS solutions for precision agriculture as the most information-intensive application area were analyzed. Our review of commercial solutions involved the analysis of 141 international software packages, categorized into 11 functions. Cluster analysis was used to group current commercial FMIS as well as examine possible avenues for further development. Academic FMIS involved more sophisticated systems covering compliance to standards applications, automated data capture as well as interoperability between different software packages. Conversely, commercial FMIS applications targeted everyday farm office tasks related to budgeting and finance, such as recordkeeping, machinery management, and documentation, with emerging trends showing new functions related to traceability, quality assurance, and sales.

? Precision Agriculture: Management of spatial and temporal variability to improve economic returns following the use of inputs and reduce environmental impact. It includes Decision Support Systems (DSS) for whole-farm management with the goal of optimizing returns on inputs while preserving resources, enabled by the widespread use of GPS, GNSS, aerial images by drones and the latest generation of hyperspectral images provided by Sentinel satellites, allowing the creation of maps of the spatial variability of as many variables as can be measured (e.g. crop yield, terrain features/topography, organic matter content, moisture levels, nitrogen levels, etc).

? Agricultural automation and robotics: The process of applying robotics, automatic control and artificial intelligence techniques at all levels of agricultural production, including farm bots and farm drones.

? FARMING NEEDS AND BASIC WORKS: Sowing the seeds, Plantation, watering the plants, cutting the weeds spraying fertilizers and chemicals, examining the soil and harvesting the yield, cutting the weeds, killing the pest and insects that harm the crops. Whether the above-mentioned works can be done by the robots are not? The question is answered by ?yes?. Farm robots have taken a leap. Some major Agricultural robots are

Robot drone tractors

Fruit Picking Robots

Flying Robots To Spread Fertilizer

Smart Farming applications do not target only large, conventional farming exploitations, but could also be new levers to boost other common or growing trends in agricultural exploitations, such as family farming (small or complex spaces, specific cultures and/or cattle, preservation of high quality or particular varieties,?), organic farming, and enhance a very respected and transparent farming according to European consumer, society and market consciousness. Smart Farming can also provide great benefits in terms of environmental issues, for example, through more efficient use of water, or optimization of treatments and inputs.

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