Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
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According to the food security data by the UN, it is predicted that by 2050, the demand for food will rise by a staggering 50%. This data is mainly based on the projection of the world’s population growth which has maintained a steady upward trend over the past few years. From the look of things, this trend is not changing. One sure thing about population growth is people will still need to eat regardless of the situation. Feeding a population of over 10 billion people is not an easy task. The best way is to change the way we produce food. This is where the importance of IC chips in agriculture comes in.
Advancement of technology has proven to be one of the best ways to increase food production so as to feed the ever-rising population. Farm machinery and sophisticated equipment have been invented over the past years. The inventions and innovations are not stopping any time soon and at the center of all of it are the integrated circuits. Also known as microchips or simply chips, these are tiny wafers that contain different electronic components. The chips are designed to perform different electronic functions when embedded in devices.
Automation in agriculture
IC chips have automated various processes and activities in agriculture. Far automation is characterized by computer systems, farm machinery, data tools, sensors and other electronic devices. They are capable, or have the full capacity to execute different tasks without the full involvement of the human.
Most automated systems are programmed by the manufacturer to perform specific tasks. They also have a human interface that allows you to choose and even control what the system should do. They also have high-level safety features that are designed to protect operators and livestock. An automatic milking system is a perfect example of farm automation. Other products include automatic harvesters and automated seeders.
Integrated circuits have given rise to precision agriculture (PA). This is a type of agriculture that is driven by high-technology features such as sensors and big data. The primary goal of this type of agriculture is to encourage accurate decision-making. This will eventually lead to high productivity while at the same time minimizing losses in agricultural ventures.
Since precision agriculture is majorly data-driven, we expect massive data handling and processing. Here, memory chips come in handy. They have the capacity to store large datasets that will be used for machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions. These two (ML and AI) are important components of precision agriculture.
Precision agriculture strives to focus on key areas of agriculture which include profitability, sustainability, resource optimization, high-quality products, and productivity. Data collection in this type of agriculture is done by sensors that are embedded with data chips. Remote sensors and robotics are also integral components of precision agriculture.
Farm management systems
There are many activities that take place on farms. For the purpose of profitability, these activities should be organized under a system that monitors and manages them. Software applications come in handy for such tasks. A farm management SaaS or even mobile application ensures that the managers and owners are always up to date will all activities in their farms.
These systems are run on devices that have microchips. In fact, you should consider the capacity of the chip to support the farm management system.
Data storage and management is among the core functions of these software applications. Here, memory chips come in handy. Networking is another key feature of these farm management systems. To use them, the device should have a network chip.
IC chips for monitoring livestock
One of the basic data that livestock farmers need to have at the ed of the day is the number of animals on their farms. Beyond the number, they should know the exact location of the livestock and even their health conditions. It is easy to get such information when you have a small number of livestock. But beyond a specific number, the whole process becomes hectic. This is where the importance of IC chips comes in.
The chips are implanted in animals for the purpose of identification. Each chip has information about a particular animal. Additionally, these chips have GPS feature which makes it easy to monitor the location of the animals. The chips can be connected to smartphones so that a farmer can monitor the location of the livestock remotely.
Integrated circuits are widely used in telecommunication devices, which are widely used in agriculture. Smartphones, computers, and networking devices have improved the communication pipeline in agriculture.
Advanced communication systems have made it possible to implement remote farming. This is a concept where farmers can easily manage all the activities and operations in their farms from remote locations. Communication devices also make it possible to connect and collaborate with other key stakeholders in the field of agriculture.
Climate control is a new concept that has been fully embraced in the field of agriculture. Some crops and even livestock can do well only when exposed to certain climatic conditions. Thanks to the advancement of technology and IC chips, it is possible to create such conditions.
How is climate control in agriculture implemented? This technology is usually executed in greenhouse structures as they are designed to shield crops from external environmental factors.
Inside the greenhouse are climate sensors and automated systems that help to keep and maintain the conditions inside at the optimum levels. Temperature sensors detect the temperature conditions inside the greenhouse and will trigger a warning alarm in case the conditions are outside the desired range. Heating and cooling systems are used for temperature regulation. There are also humidity sensors inside the greenhouse structures.
Climate control is also used to keep farm animals comfortable for optimum production.
Overall benefits of IC chips in agriculture
We have just looked at some of the main application areas of microchips in agriculture. There is a high chance that you might have used some of those products in your farming business. Let’s look at the overall benefits of IC chips in agriculture.
Improved productivity is the most obvious benefit of microchips in agriculture. T is a fact that machines are designed to do more than what human labor can handle. This increases the productivity of farming in different phases of production. For example, when it comes to cultivating or tilling land, a tractor will definitely cover an expansive area within a short period.
Another advantage is that integrated circuits minimize the wastage of resources in the field of agriculture. Common resources in agriculture include water, light, fertilizers, pesticides, and in some cases electricity energy. There are some chips that monitor water requirements and usage in the farm. They ensure that no more water than what is required is used for irrigation. When it comes to energy bills there are power ICs that monitor and control the consumption of electricity in farms.
Closely related to the usage of the resource is environmental conservation. Most modern farms have machines and equipment that are designed to promote sustainability. They emit less fumes and other toxic waste to the environment when operating.
Integrated circuits, to some extent, have reduced the cost of running agricultural enterprises. Even though the initial cost of purchasing the machines may be high, you are likely to recoup the benefits in the long term.
Integrated circuits are also enhancing connectivity and collaboration in farming. These chips are used in the communication devices that farmers use to connect to each other. Such connections are ideal for collaboration, consultation, and marketing of farm products.
Safety is another critical benefit of the integrated circuits in the field of agriculture. There are several angles at which the issue of safety comes out. One way is through the mechanization and automation of agricultural activities. They reduce the risk to workers’ safety. Another way is through inspection of the agricultural products. High-tech equipment and machines have the best capacities to sort products and ensure that they are suitable for consumption. These machines are run by integrated circuits.
With these benefits, it is clear that IC chips are positively impacting the field of agriculture. We should expect more benefits in the coming years as more research and development is being conducted in the field of microchips.
IC chips have revolutionized every other industry and agriculture is among them. They have improved how agricultural practices are carried out both in small and large-scale production. Also, from the article, it is clear that the integrated circuit chips’ applications in agriculture affect both crop and livestock farming. All spheres of agriculture have been influenced in one way or another.
Are you building a solution or invention that will be used in agriculture? This article clearly illustrates that you should get the right integrated circuits for the project. Once you know the specific type of IC chip that you should get, the next step is contacting a reliable supplier of the microchips and placing your order.
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