Agriculture is one of the pillars of human civilization and has greatly advanced over the years. Today, smart agriculture is what is being applied by more and more farmers across the globe, which is the application of advanced technologies to enable precision farming, optimize crop yields, and reduce resource consumption.
One of the most promising technologies in this field is hyperautomation, which combines artificial intelligence (AI) with machine learning (ML) to automate repetitive tasks, enhance decision-making, and improve overall efficiency. Let’s explore how hyperautomation can revolutionize smart agriculture and enable sustainable farming practices.
Inefficient Use of Resources
Agriculture is responsible for 70% of global water consumption, however, most of this water is wasted as standard-issue irrigation systems are often poorly designed and waste water. Another factor that plays a role in inefficient use of resources is inaccurate dosage of pesticides and fertilizers. Without proper data to give insights on how much fertilizer is needed to maximize crop yield, farmers will keep making the same mistake, which can also lead to soil pollution thus reducing crop productivity.
Climate Change and Weather Variability
The U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA) projects that agricultural productivity will be increasingly disrupted by extreme weather events—heat, drought, wildfires, and flooding—between now and 2050. Thus, farmers cannot rely on conventional weather forecasting, which makes it difficult to plan ahead or even continue their normal cropping schedule. Without accurate data, farmers who reside in countries prone to drought or other natural disasters will suffer the most. Bouts of extreme weather create favorable conditions for diseases and pests thus reducing crop yield.
Pest and Disease Management
Pests destroy crops in numerous ways by eating the leaves, sucking out juices, spreading plant pathogens, feeding on the natural fibers, boring into the leaves, roots and stems and more, thus causing chaos on farmlands. Insects, diseases, and weeds can cause costly and irreparable harm to crops while damage from pests often results in vast economic consequences. Hence, large-scale farming can become tedious and cumbersome to manage the diseases and, without the proper data, diseases can spread quickly resulting in significant crop losses. Additionally, extreme weather conditions create favorable conditions for the spread of diseases and bacteria further enhancing the problem of pest and disease management.
SOLUTIONS TO THE CHALLENGES
Crop Image Processing on Farmer’s Machines
By analyzing the spectral reflectance properties of plants, image processing algorithms can detect and quantify various plant diseases, nutrient deficiencies, and stress conditions. Low-code hyperautomation platforms in the cloud process the outcome of these algorithms and turn it into real actionable information to help farmers and agronomists make informed decisions regarding irrigation, fertilization, and pest control.
Electric Agricultural Vehicles
Electric agricultural vehicles have a significant role to play in the future of smart agriculture and offer multiple advantages, including environmental sustainability, energy efficiency, precision agriculture capabilities, and integration with smart technologies.
AGCO, a Waylay customer using our Digital Twin automation platform and a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural solutions who works tirelessly to help make today's farms more productive and more profitable as the world of agriculture changes is also paving the way with it’s full line of electric agricultural vehicles to help farmers sustainably feed the world.
As the world moves towards a more sustainable and technology-driven future, these electric vehicles will play an increasingly important role in transforming agriculture into a smarter and more efficient industry with its integration with renewable energy, sustainability and environmental benefits, energy efficiencies, and additional benefits in the advancement of agriculture.
IoT-enabled Devices for Crop Field Monitoring
Communication service providers, like Tata Communications who is one of the leading communication service providers, plays a crucial role in carrying approximately 30% of the world’s internet routes and connecting businesses to 60% of the world’'s cloud giants—and a valued customer of Waylay, leveraging our Enterprise automation platform—connects mobility IoT-enabled field and crop monitoring devices, to be connected to an hyperautomation platform, which then uses data analytics to provide farmers with real-time insights and recommendations into the health of their crops.
To illustrate further, automated drones equipped with IoT sensors and cameras gather data, which is then used to suggest dynamic adjustments to spraying focus and intensity in areas requiring the most attention. This process empowers farmers by offering them precise and timely information to enhance their crop management practices.
Smart agriculture relies heavily on data, and low-code hyperautomation platforms can be used to develop the data analytics tools needed to help farmers identify trends and patterns in pest and disease outbreaks. These tools can provide real-time alerts to farmers, allowing them to take action quickly and prevent further damage to their crops. Furthermore, real-time data analytics with recommendations can help farmers with climate change and weather variability, allowing farmers to adjust their farming practices minimizing the risk of crop destruction, optimizing yield and reducing waste.
Waylay’s Hyperautomation Platform
Waylay cutting-edge hyperautomation platform offers various capabilities to enable smart precision agriculture. By leveraging its features, Waylay can assist in optimizing farming operations, improving crop yields, reducing waste and enhancing overall efficiency.
Below are additional ways Waylay helps and makes an impact in smart agriculture:
- Data Integration and Analysis
Waylay’s platform can integrate data from multiple sources, including sensors, weather forecasts, satellite imagery, and connected farming machines. By analyzing this data, it provides valuable insights into crop health, soil conditions, irrigation requirements, and other essential factors to optimize the farmer’s crop yield.
- Monitoring and Predictive Analytics
Waylay’s platform continuously monitors various parameters, such as temperature, humidity, soil moisture, and nutrient levels. Through predictive analytics, it identifies patterns and trends to anticipate crop health issues like disease outbreaks, pest infestations, or adverse weather conditions. This enables farmers to take proactive measures and prevent crop losses.
- Automated Decision-Making
The AI capabilities in Waylay’s platform allows the platform to make real-time decisions based on the collected data and predefined rules. For example, it can automatically adjust irrigation schedules based on weather forecasts and soil moisture levels, optimizing water usage. It can also trigger alerts or automate actions when specific conditions are met, such as activating irrigation systems when soil moisture falls below a certain threshold.
In summary, with its powerful features and capabilities, Waylay’s hyperautomation platform holds tremendous potential for revolutionizing smart agriculture and enabling sustainable farming practices. By integrating and analyzing data from various sources, including sensors, weather forecasts, and farm equipment, Waylay provides farmers with valuable insights into crop health, irrigation requirements, and soil conditions.
Through continuous monitoring and predictive analytics, the platform can anticipate potential issues such as disease outbreaks, pest infestations, or adverse weather conditions, empowering farmers to take proactive measures and prevent crop losses. Additionally, the AI capabilities of Waylay enable automated decision-making, optimizing resource usage and triggering actions based on real-time data.
By harnessing the power of hyperautomation, farmers can enhance efficiency, optimize crop yields, and contribute to the development of a more sustainable and resilient agricultural industry. The future of smart agriculture lies in the hands of technologies like Waylay’s hyperautomation platform, and customers AGCO and Tata Communications, who are all paving the way for a more sustainable and productive farming ecosystem.
About the author
Orestis Kembora is a marketing professional who graduated from the Odisee University of Applied Sciences in Brussels, Belgium and started his career as an SEO intern. Today, Orestis is the marketing coordinator of Waylay where he coordinates social media, event marketing, data analytics, email marketing, and media outreach.