Application of 5G in Smart Farming and Agriculture
Smart farming will continue to grow as the world's cellular-connected infrastructure upgrades to 5G. Farmers will be able to make more effective and efficient choices due to data and predictive analytics.
FREMONT, CA: Smart farming and precision agriculture use technology to increase the efficiency and productivity of the farm to market process. Smart agriculture, or ag-tech, connects everything from irrigation systems to soil and animal production via IoT sensors. As 5G is deployed globally, this high-speed cellular technology is poised to influence agriculture significantly.
The initial stages of 5G have concentrated on allowing high-speed communication. Before the widespread adoption of 5G infrastructure, concentrated farms will be the most feasible application. A major corporate farming operation may invest in a private 5G network to support high-bandwidth use cases—e.g., crop monitoring through drones and data aggregation from thousands of transactional or triggered IoT sensors.
For the time being, 5G will be most advantageous when a farming operation makes extensive use of data from various sources. A central connection point collects data from thermostats and feeding devices on an industrial chicken farm. Each of these thousands of sensors creates small amounts of data at a low cost or complexity level that is incompatible with a broadband-grade 5G data line. When aggregated in appropriately sized clusters, the resulting bandwidth can be comparable to that of 5G mobile broadband. 5G is an ideal solution for aggregating and backhauling this data.
The following are some examples of possible 5G use cases in smart agricultural technologies in the present and future:
Aggregating of Data: 5G technology has enormous potential for centralizing data gathering in massive agricultural operations. A sizeable corporate farm could establish a private 5G network for aggregating micro-monitored crop management equipment data. These systems incorporate soil moisture sensor densities that are hundreds of times greater than those now supported. This network may enable a real-time monitoring system with triggers for irrigation and other crop support systems.
Analytics Predictive: Since 5G technology enables data aggregation, huge industrial farms may use predictive analytics more effectively. Analytics software develops models and forecasts
based on historical and current data on circumstances—e.g., soil moisture and pesticide use to assist farmers in making decisions. Due to the increased density of real-time data enabled by 5G, analytics will become more exact, maximizing agricultural productivity and efficiency.
Operations Using Drones: Farmers are increasingly utilizing drones to monitor their crops. Drones are less expensive than tractors and deliver more precise data on crop damage and other aspects. 5G enables drones to record and transmit higher-quality video data. This high-speed data transfer capability enables the development of AI drone technology and real-time reporting.
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