The IoT (Internet of Things) is helping growers and producers in the agriculture industry increase production and optimize efficiencies. Two technology companies are partnering to demonstrate the power of IoT-enabled “smart” farming.
MultiTech Systems, www.multitech.com, a global manufacturer of M2M and IoT devices, and WaterBit, www.waterbit.net, an agricultural services provider, have announced the launch of a field trial combining MultiTech’s IoT gateway; LoRa technology, a wireless technology that enables low data rate communications across long distances; MultiConnect mDots, low-cost LoRaWAN-ready modules to connect sensors; and WaterBit sensors. The companies say the trial will demonstrate the benefits of combining sensor and LoRa technologies to capture vital, hard-to-reach information without relying on unpredictable cellular coverage.
By deploying the trial across WaterBit’s dense field site, the company will have better access to valuable data from numerous endpoints, including key temperature, humidity, and moisture data, which it will be able to monitor via the cloud. MultiTech says the field trial will test LoRa’s performance characteristic in challenging crop conditions, such as the dense foliage of citrus trees and variations in terrain, in multiple locations in California during the winter.
Since some of the best places to grow crops are the least accessible for cell towers, MultiTech and WaterBit believe their combined IoT solution is a viable and important way to bring connectivity to agriculture. Just like in other vertical markets, by connecting physical assets—in this case, crops—IoT solutions can deliver enhanced value for growers and producers.
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