Unused TV spectrum and drones could help make smart farms a reality
ON THE Dancing Crow farm in Washington, sunflowers and squashes soak up the rich autumn sunshine beside a row of solar panels. This bucolic smallholding provides organic vegetables to the farmers’ markets of Seattle. But it is also home to an experiment by Microsoft, a big computing firm, that it hopes will transform agriculture further afield. For the past year, the firm’s engineers have been developing a suite of technologies there to slash the cost of “precision agriculture”, which aims to use sensors and clever algorithms to deliver water, fertilisers and pesticides only to crops that actually need them.
Precision agriculture is one of the technologies that could help to feed a world whose population is forecast to hit almost 10 billion by 2050. If farmers can irrigate only when necessary, and avoid excessive pesticide use, they should be able to save money and boost their output.
But existing systems work out at $1,000 a sensor. That is too pricey for most rich-world farmers, let alone those in poor countries where productivity gains are most needed. The sensors themselves, which probe things like moisture, temperature and acidity in the soil, and which are scattered all over the farm, are fairly cheap, and can be powered with inexpensive solar panels. The cost comes in getting data from sensor to farmer. Few rural farms enjoy perfect mobile-phone coverage, and Wi-Fi networks do not have the range to cover entire fields. So most precision-agriculture systems rely on sensors that connect to custom cellular base stations, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars, or to satellites, which require pricey antennas and data plans.
In contrast, the sensors at Dancing Crow employ unoccupied slices of the UHF and VHF radio frequencies used for TV broadcasts, slotting data between channels. Many countries are experimenting with this so-called “white space”; to unlock extra bandwidth for mobile phones. In cities, tiny slices of the white-space spectrum sell for millions of dollars. But in the sparsely populated countryside, says Ranveer Chandra, a Microsoft researcher, there is unlicensed space galore.
Learn more: Precision agriculture
The Latest on: Precision agriculture
via Google News
The Latest on: Precision agriculture
- Smart Farming and Precision Agriculture Market Analysis, 2018-2026 - ResearchAndMarkets.comon May 12, 2020 at 4:06 am
The Smart Farming and Precision Agriculture market is one of the dynamic sensor technology segments with major factors such as technological advancements, wide range adoption and large scale ...
- The robotic, hybrid-electric future of agricultureon May 12, 2020 at 3:40 am
Agtech’s leap to automation and electrification is likely to be easier than the commercial car industry’s leap, ...
- Europe Mid and High Level Precision GPS Market is slated to grow rapidly in the coming yearson May 11, 2020 at 10:27 pm
The Global Mid and High Level Precision GPS Market report provides a detailed analysis of the dynamic of the market with extensive focus on secondary research. The report sheds light on the current ...
- The smart agriculture market is estimated to grow from USD 13.8 billion in 2020 to USD 22.0 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 9.8%on May 11, 2020 at 2:34 pm
Smart agriculture market anticipated to grow at CAGR of 9.8% from 2020 to 2025The smart agriculture market is estimated to grow from USD 13.8 billion in 2020 to USD 22.0 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of ...
- Global Smart Agriculture Market & Impact of COVID-19 on Precision Farming, Livestock Monitoring, Precision Aquaculture, Smart Greenhouse and Precision Forestry - Forecast to ...on May 11, 2020 at 8:35 am
The "Smart Agriculture Market by Agriculture Type (Precision Farming, Livestock, Aquaculture, Greenhouse), Hardware (GPS, Drones, Sensors, RFID, LED Grow Lights), Software, Services, Application, Farm ...
- Futuristic precision farming moves a step nearer in the USon May 10, 2020 at 10:34 pm
A team from Google's parent company has been meeting with US government officials about precision farming Google's secretive “moonshot” laboratory, X, has stepped up plans to modernise food production ...
- Precision Harvesting Market Size Is Expected To Witness Significant Growth Of USD $ $22.9 Billion By 2027 | Grand View Research, Inc.on May 9, 2020 at 4:10 am
Market Research And Consulting.” According to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc., The global precision harvesting ...
- Global Precision Agriculture Software Market Size Analysis and Outlook to 2026 with COVID-19 Deviations - ResearchAndMarkets.comon May 8, 2020 at 5:55 am
The Precision Agriculture Software market is one of the dynamic sensor technology segments with major factors such as technological advancements, wide range adoption and large scale applications.
- The AI in agriculture market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 25.5% from 2020 to 2026on May 7, 2020 at 2:16 am
The overall AI in agriculture market is estimated to be USD 1. 0 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 4. 0 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 25. 5% between 2020 and 2026. The ...
via Bing News