Farmer writes: Smart farming and the internet-of-things

| January 20, 2016

Farmer writes: Smart farming and the internet-of-things
Whether we like it or not, the internet is now part of our everyday lives. We socialise on it, read our newspapers on it, and order our food on it – to name but a few uses. Farming is no different and while we can’t grow food it, the connected world of the internet is becoming a useful tool in the farmyard.

In its broadest sense for us farmers, so-called “smart farming” means gathering data via sensors connected to the internet and analysing it to make more informed decisions on various aspects of our work. This could be, for example, how much feed to offer an underperforming animal. Another example is the MooCall sensor, which attaches to a pregnant cow’s tail and sends a text to your phone when it senses the cow’s tail moving into its horizontal calving position.

Last week, I attended a workshop in Brussels that looked at how different actors along the food production chain could benefit from the internet-of-things. The European Commission is making funding available for research on large-scale data pilot programmes involving the internet-of-things, and farming is one of the sectors being targeted.

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