In the future, agriculture 4.0 will involve more than 10% of the cultivated area in Italy. Technological innovation applied to precision farming represents a revolutionary and essential element in eco-sustainable agricultural systems. It also offers the best solutions for a more correct and efficient management of the field and of the production.
In this context, Agrismart - Managing Cultivation stands out. It is an integrated IoT (Internet of Things) system that contains several sensors, all in one smart box, to collect and measure data of extreme interest for farms.
"A wide feedback has arrived from the use of the system in vineyards, in particular in the Apulian territory, but it is also used for citrus groves and orchards. Depending on the crop, there are different factors involved in monitoring. As for the vine, we are at an advanced stage and have developed specific algorithms for diseases such as botrytis, powdery mildew and downy mildew. For other crops, we are currently working on it . We must also bear in mind the climatic conditions of the reference area, with ad hoc algorithms for this case."
This is what explained Patty Colasuonno of Neetra, a company located in Bari with over 30 years of experience in broadcasting and radio frequency and microwave applications for the industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) field. In recent years, the company has invested heavily in technological innovation in agriculture, with the aim of helping agricultural companies to improve the sustainability of their operations.
Agrismart was officially launched in January 2020 and was born by the necessity to assist the agricultural entrepreneur in water management, agronomic interventions, crop protection and to support biodiversity. It is based on data and complex algorithms that optimize natural resources (water above all), reduce environmental pollution (as it optimizes the use of pesticides), increase production and enhance the quality of the final products.
It is a system based on one or more detection units, positioned through special installations, a software system for the management of the data and a continuous data connection, which allows to remotely monitor the soil conditions (temperature and humidity, leaf wetting, solar radiation, mm of rain, the amount of cold hours), promptly warn the farmer of the presence of possible pathogenic attacks and identify the right time to irrigate, reducing water waste, energy consumption and the use of pesticides by more than 45%.
Agrismart is equipped with a user interface, MAGICO, able to easily read and interpret the data detected by the multisensor smart boxes placed in the field, so that the analysis of environmental conditions and soil pathologies are within the smartphone's reach. And thanks to the LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) technology connected to the SIGFOX UHF network, the system guarantees a constant monitoring of the Italian and European territories, without the use of SIM cards, at almost zero costs.
The system adopts a secure information transmission technology with excellent protection against attacks and high resistance to interference.
"Depending on the geographical distance of the user, we can install the Agrismart system or the user can do it alone - explained Colasuonno - We obviously guarantee our support remotely or by one of our technicians and we provide, in any case, a handbook where each step is described in detail."
The installation is very simple. "The positioning of the system in the field also depends on the size of the system and what you want to monitor. The most important aspect of precision farming is to monitor the cultivated land in all its parts."
At the moment, Neetra is working only on the Italian territory because of both the situation related to the coronavirus and the data accumulation phase that is still moving toward defining a system adaptable to different crops. "We have also received requests from abroad, for example from Chile and the United Arab Emirates. The development of foreign trade will be our next step" concluded Colasuonno.
As Neetra is engaged in the development of new advanced applications in the field of Internet of Things (IoT), it is also active in academic and scientific research, by partnering with its own technologies in Universities, Research Institutes and CERN in Geneva.
More information available here: www.agrismartiot.it