Outside the Kitchen: Environmental Monitoring in Agriculture

Lauren Maier on April 12, 2019 at 3:44 PM

Although temperature monitoring is easy to think of in the context of restaurant food safety, temperature controls are a crucial aspect of several others—including agriculture, healthcare, and industrial applications. For this blog series, we’ll discuss how temperature and other environmental monitoring can be applied in each of these industries, and how automated monitoring can benefit your business.

Ever heard of smart agriculture? As agricultural technologies continue to develop and expand in scope, we are just starting to enter an enormous industry shift in the application of data collection and analysis. In order to analyze data, you first have to have data available. Lightweight, Internet of Things (IoT) devices (like temperature sensors) are leading the way in making millions of new data points available in real-time, at an ideal price point. All this data sounds great, but how exactly can all this data be analyzed and applied to the agriculture industry to enhance crop yields, improve productivity, and optimize of resource utilization? Here’s a few ideas:

  1. Understand Critical Environmental Conditions Without Lifting a Finger

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    There are a lot of variables that affect crop production including air temperature, humidity levels, soil temperature, soil moisture, and UV concentrations. Using carefully placed sensors, farmers are able to monitor these variables in real-time, without having to spend time manually assessing growing areas section by section. If a variable falls out of optimal ranges, farmers can be notified immediately, allowing them to quickly implement the appropriate response.
  1. Protect Controlled Growing Facilities from Unsatisfactory Conditions

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    When farmers have the ability to know when a condition (like humidity or temperature) is out of range for a crop immediately when it falls out of that range, they have the opportunity to do something about it before the crop is permanently damaged. In controlled growing facilities, sensor data allows us to take that one step further and automate adjustments to temperature, humidity, light, and other controls when values go out of range. This ensures that crops always receive prime growing conditions and enable yields to be further optimized.
  1. Improve Compliance and Save Time on Record Keeping

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    Perhaps one of the most tedious aspects of agriculture (and many other industries) is keeping organized, accurate, and credible records. Not only are records necessary for government agencies and insurance companies, they are crucial for accurate analysis of cropping history and production methods. An analysis of farming condition records has the ability to reveal important patterns that can help optimize a farm’s output. Digital monitoring automatically creates records of every condition monitored by the system, leaving more time for farmers to analyze that data and further optimize their farm.

We hope you enjoyed our first installment of Outside the Kitchenand have learned a little bit more about how automated environmental monitoring provides valuable insight in agriculture. Be sure to check in for our next installment, where you can learn about the importance of temperature in healthcare applications.