Schneider put IoT into farming to monitor weather patterns

Schneider put IoT into farming to monitor weather patterns

Big data and Internet of Things used to help improve rural weather forecasts

Farmers could get better weather forecasts thanks to IoT sensors. Schneider Electric has rolled out over 4,000 WeatherSentry sensors across the US to give a more complete view of weather patterns across the country.

The system will use Big Data techniques to more accurately predict weather and the firm claimed this would help farmers increase efficiency, profitability and sustainability.

The WeatherSentry sensors capture field-level weather and soil conditions that are used to create accurate local temperature and precipitation forecasts, alongside storm record archives and historical weather logs, to help assess and plan for the weather’s impact on day-to-day agriculture operations.

The firm claimed that its sensor generated more agricultural data than any other provider. It said its Geographic Information System (GIS) alerting system provided real-time data to allow farmers to plan crop locations, optimise water and soil usage and prioritise activity based on 15-day forecasts.

“Despite the many technological advancements made in agriculture in the past century, weather remains a high-cost, high-risk variable that impacts all corners of the industry,” said Ron Sznaider, senior vice president, cloud services, Schneider Electric.

“Taking the guesswork out of weather events allows farmers, ranchers and landowners to make better operational and financial decisions that contribute directly to the sustainability of the operation and the health of their bottom line.”

Sznaider said the use of Big Data and IoT could be used to mitigate the affects of climate change and solve one of the most critical challenges for farmers around the world.

“The Internet of Things will revolutionise how we bring about sustainable food production and we are excited to be at the forefront of delivering the precision technologies that help meet this truly global need,” he added.

Gartner research vice-president Bettina Tratz-Ryan said that IoT would have a significant role in minimising the impact of climate change.

She said that IoT would unlock “the potential of analysing real-time data from different business processes and visualizes resource inefficiencies.

“In addition, the increasing availability of data sources from the IoT will bring more information on the context in which the sensor is monitoring an environmental event or state. That context provides insight into an assessment of the dependencies between user or operator behaviour, machine-technology-process operations, or external influences that could lead to environmental inefficiencies,” added Tratz-Ryan.

Tratz-Ryan said that applications and social networks allowed us to share personal environmental best practices with others, creating a dynamic community approach. “All of these methods have one thing in common: the ability to leverage data to make real-time changes toward a more sustainable outcome,” she said.

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers IoT, mobile technology, cloud, and infrastructure. In the past, he has also worked as an analyst for both Gartner and IDC. He has made numerous television appearances discussing the technology trends and companies that shape our lives.