5G in Agriculture: How Smart Technology Improves the Farming Industry
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With almost 8 billion people worldwide and counting, the need for digital transformation in agriculture is rapidly growing. To produce enough food for the entire population, we must utilise the latest technologies to optimise and accelerate farming processes. Much like in most industries, using the right technology can help us reduce water consumption, streamline the distribution of resources and increase productivity.
Unfortunately, agriculture is an industry that seems resistant to changes and innovations. However, 5G technology might be the answer. 5G-connected sensors track field conditions and alert farmers when crops require attention, such as water, pesticides, or fertilisers. This article will explain how 5G can potentially revolutionise agriculture and discuss private 5G, the solution for smart farming.
How Does 5G Improve Agriculture?
Although many farmers already use sensors for data collection, devices in rural areas are still mostly connected to public 4G or Wi-Fi. Considering that many farmers in rural areas don’t have the luxury of even stable 4G and Wi-Fi does not cover the required areas, private 5G networks are a significant upgrade.
How will this upgraded speed improve agriculture, and which technologies can be used to optimise processes in farming? Let’s take a look at 5G agriculture use cases and benefits of the technology.
Smart farming or smart agriculture use sensors that monitor soil, water, humidity, light, and temperature to manage farms and properly utilise the available resources. By applying modern technologies in agriculture, farmers can improve their data collection and communication and maximise production. 5G in agriculture can noticeably accelerate the processes and bring more accurate and timely results.
Collecting and analysing data helps farmers make valuable predictions. For example, using historical data about soil moisture and agriculture analytics software allows farmers to predict the soil conditions in the future. The smart farming system using 5G will help you identify patterns and make data-driven decisions.
Farmers can use drones to monitor crops, livestock, and the field itself, as well as spray water and agrichemicals. They allow limited and precise spraying without overusing the chemicals and harming the crops. It is also a much more affordable alternative to driving tractors through the fields and doing all the work manually. One of the benefits of a private 5G network for agriculture is higher speed, which delivers higher quality video data.
Drones are equipped with AI-powered cameras to analyse the crops and assess their health. By evaluating the colour and texture of plants, drones generate real-time reports and allow farmers to make quick decisions about harvesting.
Monitoring livestock health, fertility, and food intake is crucial for cost-effective management. To this day, most animal monitoring devices are not 5G sensors but Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, which makes the signal less stable and reliable. One of the crucial advantages of 5G in farming is the strong signal in smart 5G collars and ear tags that provide precise livestock location and accurately monitor health.
To learn more about 5G and agriculture, contact the UCtel team of experts. We deliver technology that provides smooth communication channels and reliable data collection and storage.
Autonomous vehicle technology in farming has the potential to increase the efficiency of farming processes as well as provide significant cost reduction. Driverless trucks can be equipped with temperature sensors to alert farmers in case of a rapid change and cameras to record the condition of the crops. 5G farming will increase the quality of videos, the precision of sensor data, and communicate the gathered information much faster than 4G. It is worth considering that a private 5G network will also guarantee stability, unlike public networks of previous generations.
To achieve high-level precision about weather conditions, farmers install weather stations that continuously measure humidity and texture of the soil, temperature, wind speed, and UV light exposure. Receiving weather updates in real-time can help farmers react quickly and avoid crop losses. The advantages of 5G in agriculture include high speed of connection and instant report generation with the latest information.
Precise irrigation can lead to better quality production and reduced water consumption, resulting in lower costs. The 5G farms can monitor the fields and crops and analyse the soil to calculate water consumption. With data about soil mixture and water salinity, farmers can make precise forecasts and set up irrigation cycles to maximise profits.
Private 5G: the Solution for Digital Farming
From crop drones to insect detection and real-time livestock tracking, revolutionary private 5G in agriculture will change farming forever. Let’s say, for example, that you want to use drone camera footage to help identify concentrated areas of weeds? Or locate and monitor valuable livestock via geolocation services? With private 5G, you can accomplish all of the above and more.
Using cellular technology to create a dedicated network with unified connectivity, a private 5G network functions much like a scaled-down version of a public mobile data network but for your own private use.
Welcome to the farming of the future. Coined ‘smart’ farming or agritech, private 5G in farming is transforming agriculture as we know it, allowing more and more farmers to adopt new technologies and compete with the global market. Access to this game-changing new digital connectivity will be paramount for the rural economy and its communities to thrive.
How? Well, not only is secure and reliable outdoor data coverage essential for the health and safety of farmworkers, but it can also revolutionise and improve operations via connected and autonomous farm machinery. It will allow you to gain better control over the process of raising livestock and growing crops, making farming more predictable and improving its efficiency – a win-win.
While other mobile networks may offer a slow, unreliable solution via irregular coverage and security, private 5G’s high bandwidth, low latency, and support for a vast number of sensors communicating simultaneously is ideal for farms. Driving the benefits of IoT in shaping agriculture, private 5G in farming also brings:
- Better data management – think about it. How efficient would it be if you could collate your weather conditions, crop growth and cattle health data and use it to track the progress of your business?
- Better quality control – yes, via automation, you can maintain higher crop quality and growth capacity standards.
- Better cost management – with the ability to see any anomalies in crop growth or livestock health, you can mitigate the risks of loss.
- Better business efficiency – via smart devices, you can automate multiple processes such as pest control and fertilisation.
Sounds good? That’s why you need private 5G for farms – and it’s not as difficult as you might think.
In fact, this is the reason we have partnered up with Nokia to bring an easy solution that solves the inadequacies of existing mobile and network capabilities. Designed to accelerate your digital transformation, Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) is a high-performance, end-to-end, secure and straightforward private wireless network platform that’s easy to install.
Equipped with plug-and-play 5G connectivity, Nokia’s DAC is cost-effective and secure, making private wireless networking, remote operations, IoT, analytics and automation effortless and easily accessible.
With Ofcom recently reporting that outdoor geographic coverage of digital services across the UK is as low as 66%, it’s no surprise that 4 in 10 NFU members still don’t have adequate coverage to run a modern-day farming business. With private 5G, you can be one step ahead. And all you need to do is call us at 0333 344 4417 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
Private 5G and agriculture is the combination that can deliver enough food to feed everyone on the planet. Even though 5G might not penetrate remote rural areas, private networks can already be used. Get in touch with UCtel to begin making private 5G for agriculture and significantly improve efficiency and productivity at your farm.