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What Smart Cities Are Learning From Smart Farms

What Smart Cities Are Learning From Smart Farms

Cities around the world are getting smarter.

Copyright by www.forbes.com

 

SwissCognitiveAlready, street lights in places like San Diego are turning off, and conserving energy, when vehicles and pedestrians aren’t around. Soon, connected garbage cans will tell waste haulers when they need to be emptied, optimizing collection routes. Smart buildings will notify maintenance staff of impending repair needs. And parking spots will find you, instead of the other way around.

Smart ideas like these aren’t confined to the city limits. They’re working in rural farm country too, helping agriculture grow more efficient and more effective every day. In fact, some of the innovations making smart cities so intelligent — like sensors, IoT connectivity, and autonomous vehicles — were raised on the farm. 

In the city, smart grids deliver power when and where it’s needed, based on real-time data from a network of sensors. The system monitors electricity usage, reporting shortages or outages instantly while smart relays and switches reroute power around problems automatically. It’s all designed to make the electric grid more resilient and more reliable, using less energy.

PRECISION TECHNOLOGY IN AGRICULTURE

In the city, smart grids deliver power when and where it’s needed, based on real-time data from a network of sensors. The system monitors electricity usage, reporting shortages or outages instantly while smart relays and switches reroute power around problems automatically. It’s all designed to make the electric grid more resilient and more reliable, using less energy.

The same type of technology and resource optimization is happening in modern agriculture. Drones, satellites, and remote sensors give farmers detailed information about every corner of their operation, including soil moisture, nutrition levels, salinity, harvest data, and more. “We used to talk about farming by the foot as this radical new concept,” says Mark Young, chief technology officer at The Climate Corporation. “And now we’re pretty much farming by the seed.” The insights can be used to do things like automatically guiding variable rate application systems, including drip irrigation. Like the smart grid, variable rate irrigation delivers water on-demand, and only where it’s needed.

The information can also help create a digital field map of soil conditions and a custom plan for the farmer. “We’re using models to make a recommendation of which seeds should be planted, and where they should be planted,” Young explains. When used with GPS tractor guidance and smart implements, farmers can then apply the exact amount of nutrition, pest control, and other resources precisely when and where they’re required.

“It’s not only better for the farmer,” Young adds. “If we can be more prescriptive and help the farmer understand exactly how much the plant needs and when, it’s more sustainable.” […]

 

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