Like the industrial sector with industry 4.0, the agricultural sector is also experiencing its own revolution, it is what is known as agriculture 4.0.

In the same way as its industrial equivalent, Agriculture 4.0 is based on the integration and use of new techniques and technologies, both for data collection and tasks, that allow greater efficiency, performance and automation in the agricultural sector.

Technologies used in agriculture 4.0

The use of new technologies in agriculture can be applied in various ways. Thus, these new methods can be used to collect data of interest, which allow analysis to be carried out for greater optimization in the use of available resources. On the other hand, it is also possible to use new technologies to achieve greater automation and efficiency when performing tasks in crops.

Some of the most important technologies and techniques used in agriculture 4.0 are explained below:

  • Drones

    They are used to fly over crop fields. They are typically equipped with various sensors that allow them to collect data. One of the most common ways to use them is with a camera. Likewise, images of fields can be obtained from the air, from which various data such as soil fertility or crop growth can be extracted.

  • Environmental sensors

    They allow obtaining information about temperature, soil or humidity. With these data it is possible to know the needs that the crops may have at all times and take the appropriate measures. An example would be knowing the right amount of fertilizer for each crop. In this way, a greater optimization of resources is achieved.

  • Cameras

    Used to monitor crops and obtain information. There are different types such as conventional cameras or Hyperspectral Cameras, with which the composition of crops can be analyzed and data that is not visible with the human eye can be obtained.

  • Robotics

    As in industry, through the use of robotic arms or autonomous vehicles in agriculture 4.0, it is possible to automate the performance of various maintenance tasks in the fields or to check the status of the crops through the use of other sensors, and take the necessary measures. For example, one of the possible applications of this technology would be to automate the pruning of vines.

Techniques used in Agriculture 4.0

The data extracted by means of the new technologies can be processed using several already known techniques. In this way, it is possible to obtain relevant information in an automated way, which, otherwise, could go unnoticed by the human eye. The data obtained can be used in agriculture 4.0 with multiple purposes (soil study, execution of tasks …). Some of the techniques that are possible to use are:

  • Computer Vision

    With the images obtained by cameras, it is possible to apply different operations and processes with which to extract information that may be useful for the development of the crop, such as its size or the number of shoots.

  • Machine Learning

    With the data collected through other technologies and sensors, it is possible to make use of Machine Learning. Using this technology, you can analyze the data obtained to draw various conclusions, while learning new information from these data. By using these techniques it is possible to determine, for example, the optimal time for harvesting crops, or the necessary measures for a higher quality of the product.

  • Data analysis

    With the information collected with the sensors used, analyzes can be carried out that allow us to know the needs of the crop or future problems that may arise, such as pests and diseases. From this it is possible to take measures that may affect production.

Advantages of agriculture 4.0 

As already mentioned, the integration of new technologies with agriculture 4.0 offers a great number of advantages:

  • More efficient production, with a lower cost and a greater quantity of food collected.
  • Sustainability By having a greater amount of data and better management of them, it is possible to make a more efficient use of pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Access to data. As all the information is digitized, it is possible to access the necessary data and monitor the status of the crops almost immediately.
  • Greater speed when completing tasks. Automation and data management allows the various tasks to be carried out more quickly and efficiently.

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