Top 3 Smart Agriculture Solutions to Resist Climate Changes
Climate change is one of the most critical issues facing the world today, and the agricultural production system is particularly vulnerable. Already, it has been found that climate change has adverse impacts on farming, including increased weather extremes, shifting agroecosystem boundaries, and changes to pests and diseases. Food systems cannot adapt in a day or two but with current climate impacts, it is necessary to build not only an adaptive but also a reliable food system. To increase the agricultural productivity of crop production systems and maintain current yields, climate-smart agriculture practices are a necessary choice. However, how do we address this challenge without a perfectly established and organized agriculture IoT system? It can be a really tricky question, especially for those companies, which have not yet integrated into precision agriculture, so in this article, we will explore how agriculture can adapt to climate change, and what steps can be taken to reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on smallholder farmers.
Basic Things to Know
One of the most effective ways to address climate change is by using integrated approaches to agriculture. Integrated approaches provide many benefits as they address several things at once. First, an integrated approach can increase the climate resilience of farms, and they may become less impacted by extreme weather events, which usually have a negative effect on natural resources. Furthermore, sustainable agriculture, which becomes a reality with an integrated approach, reduces soil erosion and improves productivity, while also providing additional socioeconomic benefits. Integrated approaches to resist climate change in agriculture can increase food production while still addressing the broader issues of sustainability.
Another important issue to consider in an integrated approach to increase climate change resistance in agriculture include crop-level changes and the corresponding effects on crop production. These changes may alter the viability of some crops’ genetic diversity and lead to a shift in farmers’ crop selections. As a result of these changes, many farmers will partially shift to a different crop, or switch to a new crop entirely.
Precision Agriculture Integration
The IoT technology in agriculture is already widespread in developing countries, where it is cheap to purchase and operate. At the same time, in developing countries, agriculture IoT devices can help with climate change mitigation and emission reductions. A smart agriculture system using IoT technology is a viable solution for both global players and smallholder farmers. But before farmers can reap the benefits of precision farming, they must first understand what it is and how it works.
Addressing the Challenge
The effects of climate change on agriculture are particularly devastating, and many farmers are greatly affected by it. Global agriculture productivity is highly dependent on the availability of resources and climate risks. However, an agriculture monitoring system using IoT is a key solution for farmers to increase yields while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water use. Precision farming can provide farmers with the data they need to make informed decisions about how to manage their land, and improve agricultural water management, energy efficiency, and crop management practices. By 2030, farmers can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 50 percent, and decrease their water use by focusing on renewable energy with minimum soil disturbance .
Today’s precision agriculture techniques are already improving crop yields, enabling farmers to grow more food and produce more in less time. While early farmers relied on manual labor, they also used chemicals; currently, the focus is shifted to organic matter and farmers adapt to the new requirements not as fast as desired. In turn, by using modern agricultural practices with minimal greenhouse emissions and an IoT-based monitoring system in smart agriculture, farmers can much faster and simpler use healthy soils, reduce GHG emissions and customize each square foot to extract maximum value from the seeds. In the long run, precision farming can help farmers improve their bottom line and fight climate change while simultaneously improving their livelihoods.
1. Climate-Smart Approach to Agriculture Practice
Climate-smart practices are an important part of sustainable agriculture, and a new way of managing land degradation, climate shocks, and methane emissions. By using low-emission varieties, farmers can increase their yields and improve their climate resilience. Low-emission varieties are more nutritious, resistant to droughts, and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are considered to be dangerous for people’s health.
The food system is responsible for generating approximately ten percent of the global greenhouse gases. As the food system has been consuming fossil fuels for decades, agricultural practices have contributed to a massive increase in greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the use of fertilizer in soils causes microbes to produce nitrous oxide emissions, a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide, which contributes to 6 percent of global warming . So, to combat climate change, the participation of the agricultural sector is a must. The development of low-emission varieties is a critical step in ensuring that farmers can access high-quality seeds and planting materials for climate-smart agriculture.
2. Investing in Renewable Energy
Investing in renewable energy to address climate change is a great way to help the planet while simultaneously facilitating your climate change adaptation. Investing in clean energy has soared in the last decade, and the Paris Agreement has increased investments to support this direction. However, the pace of the energy transition is uneven. It is largely because of tight supply chains and rising costs of labor and materials around the world. However, there are several factors that can help create an enabling environment for climate investment, including macroeconomic determinants such as a functioning bureaucracy and banking system. Specifically, clean energy investment can be boosted by specific policy measures such as renewable energy targets, carbon capture and storage, and other fiscal incentives.
Investing in renewable energy has numerous market and public health benefits. According to the Department of Energy’s Renewable Portfolio Standard report, utilities that meet these standards have a variety of climate, health, and economic benefits . Using clean energy is becoming more affordable, and there are countless savings to be made if we drive agricultural expansion with it.
Is it a Cost-Effective Decision?
With fastly changing climate being a major concern, finding a replacement for traditional energy sources has become a crucial demand. Renewables here serve as a great option as they are times cheaper than fossil fuels. While fossil fuels were cheaper 10 years ago, they are now significantly more expensive than renewables. Thus, a large percentage of consumers have already shifted to renewable energy because of the cost.
The price of installing renewable energy has decreased in recent years, and future investments will add more capacity. Its capacity increased by 184 gigawatts (GW) in 2019, excluding large hydroelectric dams . This is up more than six percent from 2018 and just 1 percent higher than last year. Further, investment in renewables is now three times more than that in fossil fuels . With these gains, renewable energy is a wise choice for both plant and your pocket.
3. Introducing IoT Solutions for Agriculture
The development of sensors used in agriculture, IoT-based applications, and climate-smart strategies is of special importance for agriculture. IoT agriculture solutions combine hardware, sensors, and software. They provide various functions and incorporate the newest monitoring and decision-making solutions. Since agriculture is one of the major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and affects soil health, it is vital to adopt IoT solutions to fight climate change. The need for IoT in agriculture can also be explained by the necessity to ensure global food security minimizing negative effects on the environment.
Types of Sensors
There are several types of agricultural sensors, starting from simply deployed in the field to bio-based, integrated into the agricultural products. Smart agriculture sensors are used for a range of agricultural and environmental activities, including reducing the spread of chemicals, and nutrient losses from fertilization, and increasing yields by reducing non-beneficial insects and diseases.
Anyway, in general, sensors can be divided into the following categories:
Soil management sensors;
Early warning systems;
Pest management sensors;
Moisture level detectors.
Soil Fertility & Soil Structure Monitoring
Soil sensors measure soil organic matter, the level of soil erosion, and its fertility. Soil management methods, in turn, have to be cost-effective and simple, so even small-sized companies can implement them. One more important point here is that knowing soil fertility gives an understanding of a better time for crop development, growth, and cultivation.
Notifications of Extreme Weather Conditions
Farmers must be aware of the increasing impact of climate change on their livelihoods. Agricultural production is very sensitive to climate variations, accounting for more than one percent of all crop yield variation in the last century. Adaptation to climate change requires new strategies to increase yields and diversify livelihoods. And if the impacts of climate change are too severe, farmers must implement systemic changes in resource allocation. Notifications here play a crucial role as they give farmers the necessary time to cover crops, critically access climate risk, and react.
Pest Management & Soil Moisture Monitoring
It is very important for soil health to prevent pests and excessive moisture from spoiling the crops. Addressing climate change issues, it becomes possible to reduce the number of pests, improving soil health. Soil moisture sensors, in turn, can also be used in conjunction with rain check locations to monitor the condition of soil moisture in low vegetation areas. Soil moisture sensors are also used in monitoring soil moisture conditions for specific farm soils.
Agricultural sensors collect data that can be used to improve crop production and yield and provide a wealth of information. The farmer needs to learn how to use a computer operating technique to gather route data and properly distribute the sensors on the farm. Farmers must also learn how to connect these sensors to existing communication infrastructure and the appropriate personnel. However, these are not significant things as if we consider all the benefits that smart agriculture can bring, deployment will not be an issue at all.
The use of remote-sensory technology can address climate change and environmental monitoring, reduce emissions, and improve management practices in a farming system. It can also help with site-specific agronomic management. Farmers can use remote-sensory technologies to assess crop rotations and health and to determine the appropriate level of watering to keep the high level of soil quality. Accurate real-time data can help them minimize damage caused by a changing climate and maximize yield.
Which Solutions Does TEKTELIC have?
TEKTELIC as a global leader in IoT Products understands the need of IoT in agriculture. The company’s IoT solutions can be deployed without any additional technical knowledge on the part of the end users. With this, TEKTELIC devices can be deployed quickly and reliably in a wide range of vertical applications.
In TEKTELIC we are trying to develop comprehensive solutions instead of just creating a lot of individual sensors measuring different things. Basically, we have developed two devices for agriculture, which cover all the needs of climate-smart agriculture. First, TEKTELIC has KIWI, which is perfect for soil monitoring in a variety of spheres such as commercial lawns, golf courses, private gardens, or farming grounds. It monitors soil moisture and temperature, giving you the necessary metrics to access crop health and the potential fertility of the soil. KIWI comes with a 1.5-meter cable, which allows it to be positioned at various depths, depending on the application. It supports up to two watermark/thermistor probes, allowing users to measure multiple depths simultaneously.
Another device we have is CLOVER, which is similar to the KIWI but can be mounted right on the soil surface and measures not only soil moisture and temperature but also ambient humidity and temperature together with light status. It is especially comfortable as you don’t have to even decide where to mount it and can simply put it on the ground.
In greenhouse farming, various effective solutions are being developed to ensure optimal climate control. Sensors are used to send alerts if water or air quality is not optimal, for instance. With the help of these technologies, farmers are able to increase crop production and improve yields. TEKTELIC innovations, in turn, are addressing the growing concern of climate change being easily compatible with traditional agricultural methods.
Climate-smart agriculture may be a solution to the problems of depleting natural resources and promoting food security. The future of climate-smart agriculture depends on the continued development of smart technology. It may be the answer to our climate-change problems as well. In the meantime, agricultural research continues to be improved and more farmers are being trained in the new technology. Eventually, precision farming could benefit the world’s climate situation in general.
In TEKTELIC, we are focused on smart solutions with high energy efficiency and justified results, so if you are ready to include your company in the climate-smart agriculture environment, don’t be afraid to ask any questions and discuss opportunities with our support & sales team.
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. (2022, June 2). A 50% reduction in emissions by 2030 can be achieved. Here’s how: Energy and environmental researchers pooled their knowledge to provide recommendations to fulfill the United States’ climate pledge. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 9, 2022, from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/06/220602095102.htm