Today’s farmers face historic challenges in running a successful agricultural business. The costs of fertilizer, seeds, fuel, and farming equipment have risen significantly. Additionally, shipping delays are common and labor is hard to find.
To meet these challenges head-on, farmers must leverage any and all technologies they can to maximize crop yield, maintain quality, and keep costs low. In these endeavors, agricultural sensor technology like ultrasonic sensors are a must. In this article, we’ll cover three ways that these sensors are being used by farmers around the world to run more successful businesses.
Agricultural Sensor Technology for Cultivating and Weeding
Ultrasonic sensors are invaluable in helping farmers keep soil suitable for planting and growing crops. Agricultural sensor technology can be used to detect the rows of plants in a plot of land while tilling and cultivating soil. These steps are crucial for aerating the soil so that crops receive enough oxygen, as well as replenishing vital nutrients in the soil.
They can also be used to detect weeds and discern unwanted plants from crops, which helps with not only removing plants, but applying herbicides. Altogether, ultrasonic sensors are a key tool in efficient cultivation and weed management.
Monitoring Grain Bins and Water Tanks With Agricultural Sensor Technology
One common application of agricultural sensor technology is in monitoring substance levels within a container, much like in manufacturing and other industries. Traditionally, grain bin levels are monitored via manual sampling, which is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and quickly becomes expensive on large-scale farms.
With ultrasonic sensors, grain levels can be measured accurately and automatically in bins or silos. Furthermore, farmers can measure water levels in tanks, ensuring that each tank has enough water for irrigation while efficiently managing water usage. For example, these sensors can be used to verify that irrigation systems are neither overwatering or underwatering crops.
Using Ultrasonic Sensors for Smarter Harvesting
Agricultural sensor technology also plays a key role in the harvesting process. Ultrasonic sensors are commonly used to identify fruit inside a tree’s canopy. They are also used to detect plots of land from which grain has already been harvested, which allows farmers to avoid harvesting the same areas twice.
Going a step further, farmers are able to gather extensive data sets on crop quality and yields with farmer sensor technology. This data can then be analyzed to actually predict future yields, or identify trends that were invisible to the naked eye. For example, a farmer may determine that a certain area of their plot is more commonly overwatered or struggles with more insect infestations. In these situations, farmers could then modify their process accordingly, either adjusting their irrigation system or selecting more suitable crops for the afflicted area.
Tackling Today’s Farming Challenges Head-On
Running a successful agricultural business is anything but easy in today’s day and age. The good news is that modern technology can equip farmers with extraordinary tools to make their jobs easier. Agricultural sensor technology is one great example of how farmers are rising to the challenge and adapting for more efficient crop monitoring, harvesting, irrigation, and more.
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