The Internet of Things is a technology concept about network integration within all consumer or commercial goods. In theory, this technology can be applied to just about any industry. Tech Target wrote a thorough paper showing how IoT can be deployed to fight our worldwide pest problem.
If you think about it, the lightweight hardware of IoT systems would be ideal for scanning fields to detect pests. Since it is internet connected, the analyzed information can be quickly shared to users on the network and action can be taken. This sort of technology is already being considered in commercial agriculture.
Energy efficient and high-powered sensors are becoming increasingly affordable. For this reason, implementation of such technology in pest control seems realistic.
Network availability to rural areas is also becoming increasingly available. LPWAN was developed specifically to bring cellular data to remote rural areas, which will be ideal for farms. Although the connection rate is very low, it uses very little power and is ideal for IoT networks.
Millions of IoT devices are already being used in agriculture. Currently, there are over 3 million internet-connected devices being deployed in the industry. By 2024, it is estimated that this number could reach over 225 million.
Where Does IoT Actually Come In For Pest Control?
First of all, monitoring pests with motion detection technology would be the major implementation in pest control. Traps working together with the sensors could make eliminating the threat automated and it could collect usage statistics. It could be possible that certain types of insects that threaten the crops could send a red flag to the farm owners so that they can fumigate.
Monitoring the weather may aid in detecting when the crops are susceptible to certain types of insects. For example, high amounts of rain can increase fruit fly larvae production so the weather must be monitored in that respect.
The application of pesticides may also become automated and more efficient using IoT technology. If the sprayers work together with weather monitors, the pesticide amount can be adjusted based on the weather. Certain types of pesticides may be adjusted and cycled based on the pests that are detected in the area.
The federal government is also encouraging farmers to use their IPM guidelines for pest control. The problem is that IPM protocols are very time to consume, but it may become effective if it can be automated. The IoT system can monitor the area and evaluate an appropriate response based on the guidelines.
Combining different IoT-based solutions into one integrated environment can lead to more efficient agriculture in the future. Imagine if IoT can be used to completely automate the way our food is grown and how pests are taken care of.
IoT technology is already being implemented in many other industries. The whole chain of the agriculture industry could potentially be automated as well. Automation of pest management, irrigation, fertilization, pricing, and more could be factored in within one big network to influence the way a farm works.