The Wireless Revolution
There is a wireless revolution occurring in today’s farming! Monumental advances in today’s agricultural technology make it possible for wireless sensors and control networks that will improve farm efficiencies tenfold. Wireless is the future of farming. Wireless will eliminate the use of hard-wired connections and allow farmers to access an abundance of information via smart phone, tablet or laptop computer.
Why is Wireless Essential to Today’s Farmers?
With today’s pressures and economic struggles, farms must become larger to compete. This expansion means that farmland is becoming more widely dispersed as farmers purchase or rent un-adjoining properties. They end up spending more time than ever before travelling between fields as they monitor planting, irrigation, harvesting, etc. Technological advances make land information accessible at the touch of a button via wireless connection, allowing farmers to automate many of their tasks. It is predicted that wireless networks will offer the same type of quantum leap forward for farming that GPS has provided during the past decade.
What Exactly is Wireless?
Wireless networks refer to a standardized set of digital radio technologies that allow computers and other electronic devices to communicate and access the internet without being physically connected via a cable. Farmers will be able to connect to the network from any place he wants, by powerful wireless links. They can monitor any aspect of the farm, because all farm machinery and equipment is fitted with mini-computers and connected to the wireless network. This allows farmers to install various kinds of sensors in anyplace he wants, providing access at any time.
It is estimated that wireless technology could eliminate up to 80% of cost due to wiring. In agriculture, the advantages of going wireless are quite obvious to any farmer or tech person who has installed sensors and cables in the field. The frustration, the high cost and labor intensity of installing cables, the cost of repairing cut or damaged cables from farm operations, lightning strikes, damage caused by wild life, and even your family pets are reason enough to remove these obstacles.
What You Need to Know
Although the wireless farm of the future offers great potential for improving efficiencies, it will not materialize without an equal leap in the ability of farmers to understand the electronics of today. Even the most robust wireless systems will require regular maintenance, repair and upgrades. From a decade of implementing precision agriculture, adding technology to the farm may reduce the number of people, but this will also generate need for education and competence levels.