8.2 Connecting Machines and Farms
Agriculture 4.0 is about connectivity
By default, the introduction of new tools and practises are needed to be incorporated in businesses in order to incorporate Agriculture 4.0 to increase productivity. To achieve that, the capability to remotely collect, use, and exchange data is necessary.
The development of the connectivity of agricultural tools is leading to important progress in the agricultural sector. The development of precision in the sector is now possible and it will increase the clarity of the industry. On the other hand, significant challenges will be faced as data exchanges in the business ecosystem and the need to invest in new infrastructure and tools are a necessity.
Another reason to apply connectivity to a company in the agricultural sector is predictive maintenance. Deployments and connectivity enables the manufacturers to track the usage of the product. They can detect at a very early stage a loss of performance and offer preventive maintenance operations. In addition, the data collected helps the manufacturer to better understand the needs and usages to improve its line of products.
Another use of collecting data is to improve production practices, crops and tools. This approach could enable productivity increases and optimise the use of fertilizers, herbicides and fuel.
According to an article by Jess Noris and Jessica bland, published in Nesta.org (https://www.nesta.org.uk/blog/precision-agriculture-almost-20-increase-in-income-possible-from-smart-farming/) the collection of data could enable a 20% increase in income while reducing herbicide and fuel consumption by 10% – 20%.
However, these use cases will take time to deploy as they require extensive data collection and exchanges at the level of the ecosystem (enabling data analysis over several exploitations).
The development of precision agriculture is based mainly on the ability to collect and analyse data. But to achieve these results and optimise production, the data needed to be gathered and analysed even further to detect patterns on farms/exploitations. This implies the development of data exchange mechanisms, and the collaboration of numerous factors with numerous and potentially conflicting interests.The organisation of these data exchanges is set to be a crucial spot in the value chain with the ability to generate knowledge from data and set up a business model of optimisation services.
According to the book <Industry 4.0: Managing the digital transformation>, this is the number of data points the average farm will generate by 2050!
Source: Industry 4.0: Managing The Digital Transformation By Alp Ustundag, Emre Cevikcan
Additional Task: https://h5p.org/node/726338