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LoRaWAN Applications in IoT Smart Agriculture 2023

LoRa based Internet of Things (IoT) technology for agriculture enables efficiencies that reduce environmental impact, maximize yield, and minimize expenses. Smart agriculture use cases based on LoRa devices and the LoRaWAN protocol have demonstrated significant improvements, such as a 50% water reduction for commercial farms.

Using LoRaWAN technology, agricultural production can be improved in terms of quality, quantity, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness. Data transmission can be done over a large area with a range of up to 10km in rural areas. In order to build the Smart Agriculture solution you actually need, coverage can be easily expanded with the use of additional LoRaWAN® gateways.

We’ll go over what LoRaWAN technology is, applications in smart agriculture, and how it functions before giving a very basic introduction to how to get started.

What is LoRaWAN Technology in Smart Agriculture

LoRaWAN technology is often called an example of IoT or the Internet of Things. In this situation, a wide area network for the Internet of Things is needed for smart agriculture. Farmers and ranchers use this technology to keep an eye on their property or its conditions. They can keep an eye on the moisture, temperature, and other characteristics of the soil using this technology.

By attaching tags to cattle, they can use it to track the locations of fuel tanks, water tanks out in pastures, and remote buildings to see if anyone enters them or if their doors are opened. They can also use it to monitor cattle’s whereabouts.

LoRa stands for long-range wide area network. This wireless network connects the antenna, the sensors, and the internet with lorawan gateway. LoRaWAN is a license-free radiofrequency that enables communication over relatively long distances—up to five miles in rural areas and possibly two miles in cities.

With the aid of this technology, you are able to place the sensors in a remote location, gather the data using an antenna, upload it to the internet, and manage it so that you can view it on a computer or a cell phone. You can use this system to view the data once they are configured for the LoRa system. There are many different sensors that can be installed in the field, including soil moisture sensors, temperature sensors, air temperature, relative humidity sensors, and many more.

Rainfall, wind speed, wind direction, liquid levels in tanks (whether they are holding fuel or water for cattle), GPS locations of equipment, livestock movements, building security, and other factors can all be tracked.

What LoRaWan Devices Used in Smart Agriculture

Between LoRaWAN gateways and distant nodes, communication takes place over a long-range, low-power wireless network. The nodes can be tiny, battery-powered sensors that are installed in far-off places. To enable remote management of the sensor devices, the LoRaWAN gateways communicate with the nodes, receiving data from the sensors and sending signals back to them. The LoRaWAN gateway also transports the data to the Internet so that users can view it.

  • LoRaWAN® Gateway: The star topology network of the LoRaWAN IoT architecture is supported by LoRaWAN gateway. It collects data from LoRaWAN devices and sends it to the LoRaWAN network server. Without an IoT LoRaWAN gateway, a LoRaWAN network is not feasible.
  • LoRaWAN® Ambient Temperature and Humidity Sensor: Extremely low or high temperatures stunt growth or result in leaf drop, foliage damage, a spindly appearance, and other effects. Plants’ stomata on the undersides of their leaves open and close in response to relative humidity levels. That affects the plant’s “breathe.”
  • LoRaWAN® Soil Electrical Conductivity, Temperature and Moisture Sensor: The amount of salinity in the soil is gauged by its electrical conductivity (EC). A buildup of soil salinity may occur if the irrigation water has high concentrations of dissolved salts. Crop yields will eventually decline due to salinization of the soil. The key measurement variables for determining soil temperature and water content are the soil temperature and moisture. The availability of plant nutrients, soil moisture, and aeration are all influenced by soil temperature. And the presence of water primarily indicates the need for irrigation.
  • LoRaWAN® Light Sensor: The light sensor picks up the lighting used for agricultural planting. While some plants need neither too much nor too little light, many plants can tolerate a wide range of light conditions.

Dusun IoT manufactures industrial level IoT LoRa Gateways for Indoor and Outdoor Use. To transmit data to the cloud, it has a LoRa concentrator that receives RF signals from LoRaWAN devices and transforms them into signals that can be sent over a Wi-Fi or other LoRaWAN network server.

Applications of LoRa in Smart Agriculture

More LoRa and LoRaWAN applications in agricultural production will be found as LoRa wireless technology develops further. Currently, the LoRa-enabled remote monitoring system and wireless sensor monitoring have been gradually improved and applied to smart agriculture, with a focus on environmental monitoring, animal and plant information detection, greenhouse information monitoring, water-saving irrigation, etc. The top smart agriculture LoRa-enabled applications are shown below.

Livestock Tracking

A herd of sheep or cattle can be difficult and time-consuming to monitor and track. Due to cow mortality and disease infection, livestock farms can lose billions of dollars annually. While still concentrating on their financial development, ranchers are looking for ways to improve management and streamline operations. LoRaWAN gateway with GPS tracker is of great help in tracking the location of animals in the vast pasture. Farms can monitor their livestock in real time through their mobile phones at home instead of constantly keeping an eye on the whereabouts of the cattle and sheep.

Livestock monitoring using IoT has transformed how farmers manage their livestock. By leveraging IoT gateway, sensors, and devices, real-time data on animal health, environmental conditions, and resource management can be collected and analyzed. 

The cow’s body temperature, head movement, and general movement can also be measured using a tag that uses LoRa technology. Farmers will be notified right away if there are any potential health issues or unusual stillness thanks to the data collection and processing carried out on an application server.

Smart Greenhouse

The actual yield can be effectively increased through the use of cutting-edge technology in agriculture production, which has a very significant impact, especially for crops grown in greenhouses. The best wireless connectivity for a smart greenhouse is LoRa long-range. Manual management is labor-intensive, time-consuming, and prone to human error, particularly in large-scale greenhouse cultivation. It is possible to realize remote automatic control of the greenhouse by using a number of LoRa sensors to gather real-time environmental data inside the greenhouse, such as air temperature and humidity, soil moisture, carbon dioxide, light exposure, and so forth.

Smart Irrigation

Water irrigation is crucial to the growth of crops, and too much or too little will have an impact on their development. A significant amount of water will be wasted as a result of excessive irrigation. The smart irrigation system powered by LoRa is crucial to the rational and efficient management of agricultural water use. The system will activate the water valve by mounting a LoRaWAN-based controller on it whenever the sensor detects insufficient soil moisture and vice versa. Smart irrigation can significantly increase crop irrigation efficiency while reducing resource waste.

Farm Asset Management

For sowing, fertilizing, harvesting, transporting, etc., modern agriculture typically uses machines. These tasks are frequently time-consuming and challenging to complete quickly and efficiently in traditional agriculture. When it comes to tracking and managing this smart equipment, the long-range LoRa technology is very innovative. The ecosystem of smart agriculture applications benefits greatly from LoRaWAN technology, which can be used to manage crops, transport goods, or maintain storage conditions.

Soil Moisture Monitoring

Farmers today are in desperate need of information that will enable them to choose irrigation and fertilization strategies that will maximize crop yield. Soil moisture is the main element that, when all other conditions are held constant, can increase crop yields. The crop yields can be maximized despite crop and weather limitations once a farmer is able to control the soil moisture. The low-power LoRa module facilitates the gathering of soil data, including moisture and pH, and sends all information to the LoRa gateway. To create the ideal environment for crop growth, the gateway then transmits it to a local or remote server.

Temperature & Humidity Monitoring

Because traditional temperature and humidity monitoring requires a lot of cable laying, cable exposure, and long communication lines, it is time-consuming, expensive, and challenging to implement. The varied needs of ambient temperature and humidity monitoring cannot be met by traditional technologies in comparison to wireless ones. On the other hand, LoRa strikes a balance between high distance and low power consumption. It has clear benefits for measuring temperature and humidity, avoids the need for wiring, conserves labor and material resources, and is ideal for measuring these two variables in the environment.

Precision Farming

The term “precision agriculture” refers to a broad range of Internet of Things (IoT)-based agricultural control and accuracy solutions. In other words, crops and animals receive the precise and highly accurate care they require. The main distinction between precision agriculture and traditional agriculture is that it encourages decision-making based on per square meter or even per plant or animal rather than per field. Farmers are able to adjust their inputs to crops in accordance with their growing conditions by using LoRa-enabled sensors to precisely measure variations within a field. This increases the efficacy of pesticides and fertilizers and increases agricultural production.

Smart Aquaculture

Aquaculture depends heavily on the quality, temperature, and level of the water. Sensors powered by LoRaWAN collect information on things like water level, temperature, conductivity, PH, and dissolved oxygen. The LoRaWAN water valve controller or water temperature device can be connected to the water level or temperature sensor if there is any deviation, ensuring that there is enough water available and that the temperature is set properly. Naturally, if there is a problem with the water quality, the farmers will be informed right away, allowing them to take prompt action to ensure the quality and yield of aquatic products.

Monitoring of Climate Conditions

Monitoring the climate is one of the applications for smart agriculture that cannot be overlooked. Agriculture production frequently suffers from the effects of the climate. No matter if it involves planting, fertilizing, cultivating, harvesting, etc., it all depends on the weather conditions. The activities involved in agricultural production will suffer if farmers are unable to obtain accurate weather information in advance. Weather information can be forecast to provide actionable insights into agricultural activities, facilitating scientific management and enhancing crop yields, with the aid of LoRa technology and smart sensors.

Wrap

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the population is predicted to increase by 30 percent by 2050 and the world will need to produce 70% more food. Crop yield improvement is essential, but conventional farming cannot meet this challenge. As a result, farming operations should adopt a new strategy. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a modern farming revolution that can help with this farming challenge. For the benefit of farmers, LoRa technology, a well-liked IoT solution in the LPWAN space, can be a good way to assist farms in resolving a variety of farming issues in order to create smart agriculture.

IEMA IEMLabs
IEMA IEMLabshttps://iemlabs.com
IEMLabs is an ISO 27001:2013 and ISO 9001:2015 certified company, we are also a proud member of EC Council, NASSCOM, Data Security Council of India (DSCI), Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The company was established in 2016 with a vision in mind to provide Cyber Security to the digital world and make them Hack Proof. The question is why are we suddenly talking about Cyber Security and all this stuff? With the development of technology, more and more companies are shifting their business to Digital World which is resulting in the increase in Cyber Crimes.
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