Agribusiness turns to industrial IoT to boost crop yields

To boost crop yields, agribusiness is putting the internet of things to work to enable precision agricultural techniques.

For instance, Sakata Seed America has worked with Infosys and the Industrial Internet Consortium to complete one phase of a precision crop management test bed.

For its test project, Sakata used in-ground sensors, drone imagery and a data integration and an analytics platform to boost beet seed production by almost 34 percent, or from 450 grams of seeds per plant to 525 grams per plant, according to Monty McCoy, Director of IT for Sakata America.

Sakata's sensors collected data on moisture, temperature and electrical conductivity, which is a way to measure fertility of nutrients available to the plant, McCoy said. That data is combined and correlated with visual data collected by agronomists walking the field or from drones flying over the fields.

Project technicians could see in near real-time if certain areas of the crop needed help in some way and they responded with spot adjustments to water, fertilizer or other treatments as soon as possible, increasing the yield as the season progressed.

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