How IoT Smart Irrigation Systems Make Farming Efficient?

Posted by Sanjeev Verma on November 28th, 2019

According to an estimate by MarketandMarkets, the smart irrigation market is expected to grow from --content--.83 billion in 2018 to .76 billion in 2023 with a CAGR of 16.30%.

The above market figures may seem quite lame considering its effectiveness and brilliance in the agriculture sector. Its growth is mainly restrained due to its limited implementation in fragmented lands and its lack of awareness among farmers. However, with initiatives taken by government agencies all around the world, its implementation is soon going to increase many folds.

Enhancement of irrigation systems with top-notch technologies like Internet of Things has enabled farmers to increase the total yield of their crop. It is increasing farm productivity and making farming more profitable than ever before.

How IoT Smart Irrigation Systems Make Farming Efficient?

How does a Smart Irrigation System work?

Water is an important nutrient for plants that also acts as a solvent for other nutrients present in the soil. Without it, plants cannot grow and the agriculture sector will cease to exist. Smart Irrigation Systems infused with IoT capabilities are helping farmers to enhance their irrigation procedures.

An IoT based irrigation system takes use of specialized sensors, software, and connectivity tools to manage the water level in fields. This system helps a farmer to reduce water wastage, increase the efficiency of his sprinkler systems, and make impromptu decisions based on the data gathered through sensors.

Different sensors embedded in the soil of a farm measures different parameters like moisture and temperature of the soil. These measured parameters are sent to a centralized platform via a gateway at a fixed time interval. A farmer using this platform can take informed decisions related to irrigation and water storage.

An IoT irrigation system covers up all the irrigation-based particulars to micro levels and ensures the correct supply of water at the right time in a field. This system along with other IoT based farming applications allow a farm owner to analyze and manage real-time data associated with crop health and soil temperature & moisture.

Features of IoT based Smart Irrigation System:

An IoT based smart irrigation system becomes smart because of its features. These features are capable to considerably improve different farming operations and procedures. Some of them are:

1)     Water Storage and Monitoring:

Water harvesting and storage is also a crucial part of irrigation. Stored water acts as buffer stock and avoids water wastage considerably. According to an estimate, inefficiencies in irrigation, evaporation, and overwatering can waste up to 50% of the irrigated water. Subsequent storing of water can reduce its wastage.

Water storage also includes rainwater harvesting for irrigation purposes. As it is free from chemicals, rainwater is much more wholesome than other forms of water for the health of crops. By building a suitable catchment area a farmer can store the rainwater and use it later.

An IoT based water storage and monitoring system allow a farmer to manage the water level in a tank. With real-time data monitoring, a farmer can monitor the water level in tanks at all times and subsequently plan his irrigation processes.

2)     Soil and Crop Management:

Soil quality plays a crucial role in managing the health of the crops. Moisture and nutrients in the soil are absorbed by the roots that act as building blocks for crops. Maintaining soil water content and its temperature is thus important for a farmer to ensure a good crop yield. This task is simplified with the use of soil moisture and temperature sensors. These sensors at all times share the information regarding the condition of the soil to the farmer. Based on this data, he can irrigate his fields to increase the soil moisture level or lower its temperature.

3)     Automated Sprinkler System:

This system is an enhanced application of smart irrigation system. Manual labor and intensive care are required to manage traditional watering systems. An automated sprinkler system optimizes the complete irrigation process.

Sensors placed in the field detect humidity, temperature, and soil conditions to determine the amount of water required to maintain a sustainable growing environment for plants. The automated sprinkler system, based on this data will disperse the correct amount of water in a fixed interval of time. This, in turn, reduces water wastage and ensure that plants are not damaged from overwatering.

4)     Weather Monitoring:

Monitoring the weather condition is important for farmers too. A smart irrigation system that is integrated with an API of a local weather forecast agency can tell farmers about daily, weekly, or monthly weather conditions. Based on the forecast and the crop that he wants to grow, a farmer can plan and estimate the amount of water that will be required in the next farming season.

A weather-based smart irrigation system can also calculate the amount of water lost from a farm due to evaporation from land and transpiration from plants.

Concluding thoughts about IoT smart irrigation system:

IoT has played a crucial role in boosting the productivity of farms. Through the use of different smart controllers and smart controllers, site-specific irrigation management has enhanced watering procedures. IoT features like analytics and real-time data monitoring have enabled a modern-day farmer to take corrective actions at the right time to enhance the quality of his crops.

The implementation of the Internet of Things has completely revolutionized the irrigation practices and soon the market value of smart irrigation will reach new heights.

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Sanjeev Verma

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Sanjeev Verma
Joined: October 29th, 2018
Articles Posted: 3

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