The worldwide farming sector has been put under great strain as a result of climate change, decreasing resources, and increasing populations. As unpredictability rises, growers are increasingly using cutting-edge technologies to improve production efficiency and crop resilience. In agriculture, the Internet of Things (IoT) is more prevalent than ever before, and smart greenhouses are a great example.
A greenhouse is a controlled setting that is suited to the plants grown inside. Traditionally, micro-climate and agricultural conditions were recorded in a very manual and inconsistent manner. There’s a limit to what can be measured, and farming operations are carried out according to a preconceived, speculation-based timetable.
On the other hand, weather conditions vary throughout the day, and “invisible” variables like unclosed doors or early-stage sickness can continuously alter the greenhouse environment and endanger crops.
Smart Greenhouses for Crop Growers Offer Four Key Benefits
Greenhouse plastic helps to create the perfect environment for your plants to thrive. Smart greenhouses with cutting-edge sensors and communications systems monitor their surroundings and crops around the clock, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Collected data is sent to an IoT platform, where analytical algorithms transform it into useful intelligence. As a result, on-demand HVAC and lighting controls, as well as irrigation and spraying processes, may be managed. The HVAC units and lighting control mechanisms used in smart greenhouses are more sophisticated and heavy-duty than the ones you would see in eco smart homes. Continuous data monitoring allows for the creation of predictive models to evaluate crop disease and infection risks.
A smart greenhouse may help farmers reduce labor work, enhance efficiency in resource and chemical usage, and increase yield rates by unlocking big crop insights.
1. Keep the micro-climate as close to ideal as possible
The Internet of Things (IoT) sensors allow farmers to gather extensive data at a much finer scale. They provide real-time information on important environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, light exposure, and carbon dioxide levels in the greenhouse. Honeywell documents the crop’s growth cycle and other vital information so that growers may plan for future plantings. This data promotes appropriate changes in HVAC and lighting settings to maximize plant growth while conserving energy. Motion/acceleration sensors aid in the identification of doors that are accidentally left open, ensuring a highly controlled environment.
2. Improve Irrigation and Fertilization Practices
Smart greenhouses may help farmers maintain a 360-degree view of their farms, not only in terms of temperature and humidity but also in terms of key variables like sun exposure. This ensures that irrigation and fertilization activities are kept up with the needs of cultivated plants for maximum yields. For example, soil volumetric water content readings reveal whether crops are experiencing water stress. Soil salinity levels, on the other hand, provide important information about fertilizer needs.
3. Avoiding Early Detection and Treatment of Disease Outbreak
Crop infections are a persistent problem for farmers, with every epidemic exacting a significant toll on the crop margins. Agrochemical applications are accessible, but farmers may not be aware of when to apply them. Agricultural pesticides are intended to be used as needed, and their use should be limited. Overuse may result in ecological, safety, and cost concerns while failing to apply treatments might cause deadly disease epidemics.
4. Reduce Theft And Improve Security
Greenhouses with high-value crops are attractive targets for robbers. Many farmers don’t have a viable security system in place because traditional CCTV networks are costly to establish. In this case, IoT sensors in smart greenhouses offer an inexpensive infrastructure for monitoring door status and detecting suspicious behavior. They immediately notify farmers when a security problem occurs linked to an automated alarm system.