Smart farming has arrived, and it’s starting to transform how ag producers operate. Unleashing the power of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, AI-driven analytics, and autonomous technology, a number of new app-driven platforms put the latest advances in your hands.
But which platform is right for your farm?
Here we profile three leading platforms, focusing on their target applications, their capabilities, and their unique contributions.
An integrated, cloud-based platform, OnFarm touts itself as a leader in customizable IoT analytics.
Farmers can choose from a suite of different smart-farming sensors to create a curated dashboard of key metrics. Data is updated in near-real time, so it’s easy to track fast-moving developments as they happen.
Owners can manage analytics either manually or through preset programs. Alerts for risks and notifications help users navigate the reams of new data coming through their feeds.
Of particular interest to sustainable farming customers are the groundbreaking advances in water and soil management OnFarm boasts. Measuring current progress against historic watermarks and ecologically-sensitive goals, this pioneering platform furnishes an ideal tool for meeting new standards.
Farmobile operates on a simple, three-pronged approach: collect, share, monetize.
Leveraging the latest in smart monitoring, this Leawood, Kansas, company begins with DataEngine, a fleet, powerful, cloud-computing solution. This tool digests multiple layers of data attributes and organizes it into a user-friendly format.
What makes Farmobile special is its sharing capabilities. Using standardized templates, this platform simplifies reporting. Simply collect the information and transfer files to anyone who needs them—ag consultants, forecasters, environmental officials, or crop scientists.
This ability to share data readily opens up a new revenue stream for farmers who want to license this information. Because so many parties in the ag industry thrive on information, they’re willing to pay farmers for standard metrics. Farmobile allows this access with the click of a button, but also allows farmers to choose how much or how little they want to share. Thus far, its users have billed over $500,000 in passive income from data-sharing.
Using wireless sensors and machine learning, Crop X touts itself as “the world’s first DIY farm management platform.”
A big part of its value is its ability to exploit this streaming data feed to help manage irrigation, protect crops, and regulate nitrogen concentrations. It organizes this reporting in an easy-to-use display. This platform’s potential as part of sustainable farming operations are considerable.
A barrier to adopting smart farming practices is the perceived expense and logistical challenges to implementing it.
That’s where CropX sees its niche. Its self-calibrating sensors take only 5 minutes to be installed by anyone, not some trained technician. Most of its digital infrastructure can be put in place in 15-20 minutes. And its price point makes it one of the most affordable solutions in its class.
Smart farming is coming. In fact, the future is already here. Platforms like OnFarm, Farmobile, and CropX will continue to get better. That’s good news for farmers interested in joining the digital revolution – one that’s just getting underway.