For farmers and growers, IoT technology has already proven itself as a great way to increase yield and reduce operational costs through automation. This technology is also considered to be a cornerstone of smart farming, which is a data-driven and highly automated approach to cultivating soil and raising livestock. By using a broad range of IoT-enabled devices - such as soil moisture sensors, remote controlled sprinklers, or RFID ear tags - those in the farming business can achieve more by doing less.
However, getting started with smart farming transformation still requires some strategic planning. There are two basic strategies - using a prebuilt smart farming solution from a vendor or taking a feature-rich IoT platform and creating a custom-tailored solution for all your specific needs. Obviously, each has its pros and cons. The following is how we combined these two approaches into one with Kaa.
As a feature-rich IoT toolbox, Kaa is a versatile IoT platform that can be used to create a broad variety of IoT applications, including for smart farming. However, despite its inherent technological complexity, we made it our first priority to offer users a simple graphical interface for working with the platform. In most cases, creating a smart farming dashboard in Kaa will be about selecting proper data visualization widgets and filling out the corresponding widget settings. There’s no need for coding or having previous IoT development experience to use the platform.
Once you get the hang of it, there’s no way you could tolerate some hard-wired smart farming solutions that cannot be easily modified whenever you need to update your use case. The flexibility provided by Kaa makes it perfectly applicable for single-purpose smart farming products — such as smart metering devices, livestock trackers, or failure prediction systems — as well as for multi-device solutions, among which are asset tracking and farming produce analytics solutions. You can connect any devices that support IoT, scale your solution as you grow, and take advantage of such great features as IoT analytics, over-the-air updates, and smart alerts, which come standard in Kaa.
To address the needs of enterprise-level customers, Kaa also offers advanced user management, security, and multitenancy support. You can create a hierarchy of user roles and permissions to match your business processes. You can even let people outside the company, such as customers or contractors, access the system to view some specific information.
Finally, for a quick start with IoT solution development in Kaa, we have introduced a ground-breaking templates feature. These templates are nothing else but ready-to-go solution dashboards that we create and add to the platform so that our clients can freely use them as the foundation for their projects. The smart farming template is on our list as well and it’s coming soon! Before we roll it out, you can actually influence what features go in there by getting in touch with us.
Soil and crop monitoring have been at the front and center of smart farming solutions. In its most basic form, a crop monitoring solution may only include a few moisture sensors connected to an IoT dashboard and configured to send an alert whenever your plants need watering. However, real-life applications are usually more complex. In addition to soil moisture levels, it is also common to monitor ambient temperature and humidity, soil temperature, soil electrical conductivity, and lighting intensity. As a next step, such solutions can be enhanced with the ability to remotely control devices such as sprinkles, smart lights, heaters, air conditioners, fertilizer spreaders, etc. Whenever certain sensor data goes beyond normal, these devices can be engaged to fix the issue.
By using an end-to-end IoT platform like Kaa, you can connect all the sensors and devices you need to have an integrated solution for your field, garden, or greenhouse. The platform also features advanced analytics that will let you analyze historical trends and optimize your farming practices based on actual data.
Here’s how you can ensure the best soil-plant relationship with Kaa:
IoT can be effectively used to improve health and productivity for livestock. By using wearable devices, farmers can monitor each animal’s health, movement, eating habits, and reproductive cycles. Moreover, based on real-time data coming from such devices - body temperature, heart rate, recent activity, etc. - an IoT livestock management solution can automatically trigger timely alerts to help farmers address any problems with their livestock at an early stage.
Another important goal for livestock keepers is cutting overall costs by optimizing animals’ feed, land, and water resources. By using an IoT solution with built-in analytics, farmers can identify the type of diet that improves milking and health of their cattle, come up with better milking schedules, and optimize their grazing behavior in the field to further improve lactation.
The beauty of IoT for livestock management is that having a simple wearable device tied around a cow’s neck can help not only improve farmers’ business goals but also maximize the livelihood of each animal in the herd.
The following solutions for livestock monitoring, management, and analytics can be operated through the Kaa IoT Platform:
Some essential constituents of smart farming include promoting efficient use of energy, tracking vehicles in the field, optimizing storage conditions for crops, and managing inventory. This is where smart farming overlaps with other popular IoT use cases, such as fleet management or smart metering. By addressing these tasks in a holistic manner, farmers will be able to overcome many pitfalls and inefficiencies associated with siloed IoT applications.
As an end-to-end IoT platform targeting all popular IoT use cases, Kaa provides necessary features, graphical widgets, and analytics for an integrated asset management and efficiency tracking IoT solution. For a quick start, it also includes ready-to-go dashboards for use cases such as smart metering, fleet management, and building automation - which are very common for mid sized and large farming businesses. More dashboards are coming out soon. All of these solutions are conveniently organized within the Kaa user interface so that you could access every part of your business automation in seconds.
The following applications are some of the most essential ones that you can set up with Kaa to optimize your asset performance and efficiency: