Advance Electrical Controls for Smart Agriculture

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3 years ago
Topics: Learning, Education

SMART FARMING

Smart Farming is defined as a farming management concept using modern technology to increase the quantity and quality of agricultural products. Farmers in the 21st century have access to the Global Positioning System (GPS), soil scanning, data management, and IoT (“Internet of Things”) technologies.

Smart Farming is an emerging concept that refers to managing farms using modern Information and Communication Technologies to increase the quantity and quality of products while optimizing the human labor required.

Among the technologies available for present-day farmers are:

  •         Sensors: soil, water, light, humidity, temperature management

  •         Software:  specialized software solutions that target specific farm types or use case agnostic IoT platforms

  •         Connectivity: cellular, LoRa, etc.

  •         Location: GPS, Satellite, etc.

  •         Robotics: Autonomous tractors, processing facilities, etc.

  •         Data analytics: standalone analytics solutions, data pipelines for downstream solutions, etc.

SMART FARMING

AGRICULTURE 4.0

          Agriculture 4.0 is a term for the next big trends facing the industry, including a greater focus on precision agriculture, the internet of things (IoT) and the use of big data to drive greater business efficiencies in the face of rising populations and climate change.

In 2018, the World Government Summit published their report called AGRICULTURE 4.0 – THE FUTURE OF FARMING TECHNOLOGY, in collaboration with Oliver Wyman. The report addresses the four main developments placing pressure on agriculture in the near future: Demographics, Scarcity of natural resources, Climate change, and Food waste.

 

AGRICULTURE 5.0

Agriculture 5.0 (Ag 5.0) is the next revolution in agriculture. Under Ag 5.0, precision agriculture technologies are harnessed to simultaneously boost production and enhance environmental sustainability.

 

Goal of Agriculture 5.0 from Elora Research Station:

“The goal is to help create food systems that are carbon neutral, resilient to extreme weather, and capable of distributing culturally appropriate nutrition in a profitable way while respecting the environment.”

WHAT 21ST CENTURY SKILLS DO YOU POSSESS  THAT YOU CAN APPLY IN ELECTRIFICATION?

21st Century Skills – These refer to the skills that are not directly related to the sector, but are seen as vital for any prospective worker to thrive in the 21st Century. Usually these “soft skills” do not necessarily involve manual labor or physical activity. 21st Century Skills are a major feature of TESDA’s 2018- 2022 National Technical Education and Skills Development Plan (NTESDP), integrated in the agency is training programs and other initiatives. Such Skills include:

  •               Entrepreneurial Skills, as with the amount of autonomy small-scale farmers are afforded because of smart farming, it should be no surprise if they wanted to promote and sell their produce on their own. Such activities are made even easier with digital technology thanks to smart apps and social media. By using these technologies, farmers can gain a better understanding on market trends, allowing them to forge business opportunities on their own.

  •            Marketing Skills, since entrepreneurship and marketing tend to go hand in hand, but the latter is particularly seen as one of the areas where the tech-savvy youth can play a part in. The Philippines’ Digital Farming Program imparts video editing, photography, and other similar skills to rural farmers for this very reason.

  •   Communication Skills, seeing as smart farming has the potential to bridge farmers and agriculture experts together, it is vital for both parties to understand each other clearly so that they could address any issue that may arise in the farmlands. Writing and numeracy are key topics in this regard, but interpersonal communication also goes a long way in improving farmer relationships.

  •            Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, given that farmers will likely face complex situations that require them to formulate effective solutions, especially when there is no outside help available.

WHAT TRAINING REGULATIONS (TR) ARE USEFUL AND ALIGNED IN ABE ELECTRIFICATION?

Section 19 of Republic Act No. 10601, also known as the Agricultural and Fisheries Mechanization Law, obliges other government agencies like TESDA to assist in all efforts to mechanize Philippine Agriculture. The agency performs this function by implementing and regulating various training regulations (TRs) that produce a highly skilled, internationally recognized workforce for industries. Through these TRs, TESDA annually produces certified workers for the country’s various industries, which include the agriculture and fisheries sector.

As of February 2020, TESDA offers the following TRs are directly related to this sector:

  •      Agricultural Crops Production NC I

  •      Agricultural Crops Production NC II

  •      Agricultural Crops Production NC III

  •      Agricultural Machinery Operations NC II

  •      Agricultural Machinery Servicing (4-Wheel Tractor) NC III

  •      Agroentrepreneurship NC II

  •      Agroentrepreneurship NC III

  •      Agroentrepreneurship NC IV

  •      Animal Health Care and Management NC III

  •      Animal Production (Poultry-Chicken) NC II

  •      Animal Production (Swine) NC II

  •      Animal Production (Ruminants) NC II

  •      Artificial Insemination (Large Ruminants) NC II

  •      Artificial Insemination (Swine) NC II

  •      Aquaculture NC II

  •      Bamboo Production NC II

  •      Bamboo Processing (Engineered-Bamboo) NC II

  •      Drying and Milling Plant Servicing NC III

  •      Grains Production NC II

  •      Fish Capture NC I

  •      Fish Capture NC II

  •      Fishport/Wharf Operation NC I

  •      Fishing Gear Repair and Maintenance NC III

  •      Horticulture NC III

  •      Landscape Installation and Maintenance (Softscape) NC II

  •      Organic Agriculture Production NC II

  •      Milking Operation NC II

  •      Pest Management (Vegetables) NC II

  •      Pressurized Irrigation System Installation and Maintenance NC II

  •      Rice Machinery Operations NC II

  •      Sugarcane Production NC II

  •      Seaweeds Production NC II

  •      Rubber Processing NC II

  •      Rubber Production NC II

 

In addition to these, a TR for Solar Powered Irrigation System (SPIS) Operation and Maintenance NC II was also developed during the first quarter of 2020.

Of these TRs, only a handful such as Agricultural Machinery Operations NC II, Rice Machinery Operations NC II, Drying and Milling NC III, and Milking Operation NC II are directly related to mechanization, which is a prerequisite for smart farming technologies. Despite this, the agriculture and fisheries sector consistently see a high student enrolment rate every year.


ELECTRICAL CONTROLS

Electrical controls have made a tremendous contribution towards mechanizing and automating many agricultural and food processing operations. In many cases better accuracy and reliability are obtained by the use of electrical controls compared to manual operation. Because of their ability to safely and accurately control equipment, use of electrical controls is continually increasing. Electrical controls are particularly well suited to work with computer-controlled systems.

ELECTRONIC SYSTEM

An Electronic System is a physical interconnection of components, or parts, that gathers various amounts of information together. It does this with the aid of input devices such as sensors, that respond in some way to this information and then uses electrical energy in the form of an output action to control a physical process or perform some type of mathematical operation on the signal.

Equipped with such tools, farmers can monitor field conditions without even going to the field and make strategic decisions for the whole farm or for a single plant. The driving force of smart farming is the “Internet of things” (IoT) - connecting smart machines and sensors integrated on farms to make farming processes data-driven and data-enabled.

IoT Solutions to Agricultural Problems Many believe that IoT can add value to all areas of farming, from growing crops to forestry. Two major areas of agriculture that IoT can revolutionize include:

 

Precision Farming

Precision farming, or precision agriculture, is an umbrella concept for IoT-based approaches that make farming more controlled and accurate. In simple words, plants and cattle get precisely the treatment they need, determined by machines with superhuman accuracy. The biggest difference from the classical approach is that precision farming allows decisions to be made per square meter or even per plant/animal rather than for a field. By precisely measuring variations within a field, farmers can boost the effectiveness of pesticides and fertilizers, or use them selectively.

Precision Livestock Farming

As in the case of precision agriculture, smart farming techniques enable farmers better to monitor the needs of individual animals and to adjust their nutrition accordingly, thereby preventing disease and enhancing herd health. Large farm owners can use wireless IoT applications to monitor the location, wellbeing, and health of their cattle. With this information, they can identify sick animals, so that they can be separated from the herd to prevent the spread of disease.

Automation in Smart Greenhouses Traditional greenhouses control the environmental parameters through manual intervention or a proportiona l control mechanism, which often results in production loss, energy loss, and increased labor cost.

IoT-driven smart greenhouses can intelligently monitor as well as control the climate, eliminating the need for manual intervention. Various sensors are deployed to measure the environmental parameters according to the specific requirements of the crop. That data is stored in a cloud-based platform for further processing and control with minimal manual intervention.

 

AGRICULTURAL DRONES

Agriculture is one of the major verticals to incorporate both ground-based and aerial drones for crop health assessment, irrigation, crop monitoring, crop spraying, planting, soil and field analysis and other spheres.

Since drones collect multispectral, thermal and visual imagery while flying, the data they gather provide farmers with insights into a whole array of metrics: plant health indices, plant counting and yield prediction, plant height measurement, canopy cover mapping, field water pond mapping, scouting reports, stockpile measuring, chlorophyll measurement, nitrogen content in wheat, drainage mapping, weed pressure mapping, and so on.

Importantly, IoT-based smart farming doesn’t only target large-scale farming operations; it can add value to emerging trends in agriculture like organic farming, family farming, including breeding particular cattle and/or growing specific cultures, preservation of particular or high-quality varieties etc., and enhance highly transparent farming to consumers, society and market consciousness. These efforts would prove useful for smaller farms, as technology could therefore be used to make them even more self-sufficient and competitive in the market, while employing less labor themselves.

 

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Comments

Meltano is built on top of the elt-pipeline library, which provides a simple interface for extracting, loading, and transforming data. The elt-pipeline library is based on the ETL (Extract-Transform-Load) process - https://www.mighty.digital/blog/meltano-the-framework-for-next-generation-data-pipelines , which Meltano is the new open source framework for data pipelines.

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