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Technology Companies Join to Reduce Water Consumption for Commercial Farms

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Last week, at Mobile World Congress Americas, three companies announced an interesting new Industrial IoT (IIoT) “stack” by combining sensors, signals, semiconductors, advanced algorithms, expertise in social moisture measurement systems and LoRaWAN-based networking to reduce up to 30% of water usage in massive farms, including those growing potatoes and almonds, both high water consumption crops.

Semtech, Sensoterra and Senet highlighted precision agriculture solutions that require technologies that can withstand the elements, function reliably, operate for long periods of time without requiring changes in batteries, and deliver economic returns to commercial farmers, which has not been easy in the past.

According to Grand View Research, the global precision farming market is anticipated to reach USD 10.23 billion by 2025 and comprises many categories and elements.

“Precision farming, also known as site-specific crop management or satellite farming, is a concept of farm management that uses information technology to ensure optimum health and productivity of the crops,” Grand View says in defining a science that “largely depends on specialized equipment, IT, and software services. Furthermore, this farming technique involves a broad range of technologies including bio-engineering, robotics & automation, imagery & sensors, and big data, as well as digitization.”

Water conservation is an increasing focus with the precision farming domain, given the increasing scarcity and therefore cost of water. The right soil moisture monitoring and management solutions can reduce not only the cost of water, but the related cost of fertilizers and pesticides, while improving crop yields.

Grand View goes on to say that the use of telematics (or agricultural IoT) is growing, capturing and transferring data through sensors installed in fields at increasing scale.

Scale is where Semtech, Sensoterra and Senet seem to be going.

“Since announcing our partnership over a year ago, Sensoterra has proven the value of Semtech’s LoRa Technology and how low-cost, long-range LoRaWAN-based connectivity can deliver to the agriculture market,” said Bruce Chatterley, CEO at Senet. “We look forward to building on these successes as both Sensoterra and Senet expand our solution deployments and connectivity offerings globally.”

“As water becomes more scarce in many parts of the world, Sensoterra’s LoRa-based solutions allow farmers to manage their irrigation systems more efficiently,” said Jurriaan Ruys, CEO of Sensoterra. “Today’s sensors must be low cost, easy to install and last for long periods of time in the field. These characteristics will allow growers to scale their deployments and benefit from true operational visibility. Semtech’s LoRa Technology and Senet’s LoRaWAN™-based network achieves all of these attributes.”

Sensoterra is a low-cost, wireless and remote system that offers farmers real-time insight into the soil moisture condition of their crops. The company utilizes LoRa-enabled sensors in its probes and a LoRaWAN infrastructure provided by Senet, a global provider of connectivity and IoT network services.

Sensoterra primarily focuses on the North American and European agriculture markets and has deployed over 4,000 sensors and achieved 720,000 data points to date. Sensoterra’s solutions are now being deployed in Australia, South America and other parts of the world.

“Internet of Things (IoT) technologies continue to transform agriculture and with Semtech’s LoRa Technology, farmers can readily and easily deploy IoT solutions that grow their business as well as improve their crops,” said Alistair Fulton, Vice President of Product Management in Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group. “LoRa Technology has a proven track record of enabling efficiencies which reduce environmental impact, maximize yield and minimize expenses. LoRa-based smart agriculture use cases have demonstrated significant and impactful improvements.”




Edited by Ken Briodagh

Contributing Writer

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