Smart Farming using My Farm Info & IoT

Wire.in stated that ‘To give stagnant agricultural growth a boost, a shift must be made from concentrating on the country’s food security to focusing on the farmers’ income security.’ NITI Aayog plan to double the farmer’s income by 2022 stressed upon the focus on irrigation and quality seeds.

Farmers in many parts of India are largely dependent on factors such as rainfall for their harvest and it has a huge impact on their profits. With uncertainties around rainfall, it has been a constant battle with nature to produce quality yields in a good quantity that will help their income and survival.

Experienced farmers used farming history and their expertise to battle this uncertainty. They were able to predict what plant will grow and how much of water was needed based on the weather condition to continue farming successfully. Generations of farmers have followed this wisdom that has been passed on to them. What they were not prepared for was the climatic change global warming and the effect it has on farming.

IOT has started transforming the agriculture industry and helping farmers to improve their crops productivity and yield. Simple factors such as knowing the soil type, when to farm, understanding weather and rainfall forecast, being ready to manage pests with preventive measures can lead to a profitable year of harvest. When one of these factors is overlooked, farmers suffer failed harvest.

A tool like My Farm Info helps farmers understand their farm better. MyFarmInfo.com is an agriculture information system to help farmer maximize their income by providing them ways to increase their yield and help them get the best price for their produce.
Farmers can input their farm details in this software tool on top of GIS interface and enter their farm details.They can look at the farm layout and locate it online using this tool. They will able be able to add new farms and get a complete report on how to improve their farm income by getting optimum NPK application, nutrition information and optimal mandi for the crop.
Some of the reports the tool provides are

Crop Scheduler

Scheduling is an important aspect of crop production. Accurate schedules are required to grow crops to marketable size at the right time of year.

Poor scheduling may cause growers to experience less productive yield. There are several factors that can influence crop productivity. To successfully schedule a crop, farmers have to work backward from the day they would like to market their crop and then decide on the date of seed sowing. WIth the help of My Farm Info tool, it is possible to keep track of all stages of crop life cycle. Farmers will receive messages according to the schedule regarding their upcoming crop stages. Forecast and disease alerts will also be sent through SMS.

Flood Risk

Another important factor that affects crop productivity is the risk of the farm getting flooded. This could be because of rainfall or due to improper irrigation management. My farm info helps in checking if the farm is susceptible to floods using 10 years of historical data. Farmers with that knowledge can work on preventive measures and reduce the chance of flooding.

Wind Risk Management

Another external factor that could affect the crops is wind. Exposure of growing plants to wind results in dwarfing due to desiccation of plant tissue and will thereby reduce its growth. The wind also increases crop water requirements. The Wind Risk page in My Farm Info helps farmers to find the impact of flood and the wind on their produce.

Adapting to Change

Agricultural industry is fast growing and will always have changes. There will also be a set of risks for the produce. Farmers who want to be successful have to be willing to change, adopt to technology and move to smart farming than age old traditional practice.

Effective Crop Management Strategies to Increase Income and Yield.

India loses 15-25 per cent potential crop output due to pests, weeds, and diseases. Harvest and post-harvest loss of India’s major agricultural produce are estimated at Rs 92,651 crore ($13 billion), according to data published by the ministry of food processing industries on August 9, 2016. The numbers have gotten far worse this year. In February 2017, an ICAR scientist stated that pests eat away 35% of total crop yield. Such large-scale crop loss has an adverse effect on biosafety with the increasing demand due to population growth. The European Union has banned the import of Indian mangoes as they failed to pass its stringent biosecurity regulations.

P.K. Chakrabarty, Assistant Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research stated that among all the pests, nematodes, the microscopic parasite had recently emerged as a major threat to crops in India and has caused an estimated loss of 60 million tonnes of crops every year.

Crop protection and crop enhancement solutions are readily available and it is a matter of creating awareness to farmers and village authorities and implementing these solutions in a systematic manner.

Chairman Standing Committee of Parliament on Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Hukmdev Narayan Yadav stated that

‘’The situation should be tackled collectively by farmer associations, industry players, government, and pesticide regulatory bodies in a time bound manner.’’

With the advancement of Internet of Things(IoT) in agriculture, there are tools that can help farmers identify and prevent pests in their crops. My Farm info is one such tool.

In the Farm Management section of this tool, farmers can save their farm details by drawing their farm on top of GIS interface. Once the information is fed into the system by the farmer, Once we have this information, the tool will provide the farmer with optimum NPK application, nutrition information and optimal mandi for the crop.

In the Crop Feasibility section of this tool, farmers can find the feasibility of growing any crop on their farm. When this is done at the early stage, farmers can decide which crop is the best to grow that will produce maximum yield. He will also be able to avoid growing crops that are not feasible for his area.

The tool also has a Crop Management section. Farmers can find the probability of disease infestation in their crop. This scientific tool uses sophisticated algorithms in concurrence with the last 10-year historical data to find disease probability for the farmer’s crop. Forecast Advisory can be used by the farmer to get early warning of disease infestation so they can take proper measures to minimize loss. The tool also tells the farmer the right pesticide to use and in what quantity.Farmers can now protect their fields and seek the fruits of their yields without worrying about precision. Some of the farmers are not aware of the right quantity of pesticide their crop would require. In such cases, too much of pesticides are applied that leads to the produce being poisonous for human consumption.

[bctt tweet=”Water is one of the key factors in crop health” username=””]

My Farm Info provides pest and disease vulnerability across 34 crops. By knowing this in advance, farmers are able to take preventive measure to protect their crops. It is also possible for farmers to get in touch with My Farm Info for contact spraying by sharing their contact details. Once this information is shared, My Farm Info gets in touch with the local dealers and provides the necessary pesticide.

Nutrient Management is one of the key factors in the quality and yield potential of a crop. The application of nutrients, timing, soil management, and water management are important factors in crop quality. Farmers can also use the ‘crop scheduler’ section in the My Farm Info tool to keep track of all stages of crop life cycle. They will receive messages (SMS) according to the schedule regarding upcoming crop stages. Forecast and disease alerts will also be sent through SMS. Other information that will be available is the best season, best crop suitable for the season and soil factor, irrigation timings and schedules and more. WIth all these information, farmers are able to make informed decisions on managing their crop.

The tool also helps in weed management. While there are some weeds that do not affect crop growth, there are other which are distinctly destructive. It is difficult to know the destructive weed every time. The tool provides different weed information along with pictures for farmers to know what is growing on their farm. List of names and pictures of weeds for up to 18 crops can be found on My Farm Info. For farmers who are growing vegetables, this tool also provides nematode management and advisory.

Water is one of the key factors in crop health and with effective water management solution such as timely irrigation information from experts via SMS and WhatsApp, getting expert advice has been made easy.

These experts from My Farm Info are also called as Health Doctors whose primary concern is the health of the farm.

By setting up soil sensors, it is possible to understand the potential of soil, its water retention capacity and how much of irrigation is needed for the crops. This helps in decreasing water losses
The ultimate objective is to help farmers increase their yield and income and that can be achieved by using a tool like My Farm Info.

 

 

Attention Farmers: Increase your income with the right choice of Mandi

The agricultural landscape in India is fast changing. Internet of Things (IoT) has been growing exponentially in India and not only does IoT have a big impact in the Healthcare, Automotive, Technology, Retail and Travel industries but also in the field of Agriculture.

With features that enable smart farming, better pest control, remote sensors, soil moisture measurements, crop cycle management and improved reach and connectivity through SMS and WhatsApp, farmers have been able to increase their yield, reduce waste and gain higher profits.

Despite the advancement of technology for better agriculture, the bulk of Indian farmers continue to sell their crop to village-level dealers and produce aggregators. In the olden days and the age old practice still continue with majority of farmers in India – farmers offload their produce to local dealers aka middlemen who decide on the price. These dealers would then mark up the price and sell it to consumers or other retail stores. In such deals, farmers get the short end of the stick. Majority of the farmers do not take their crop to mandis or to government agencies or cooperatives where they could get a better price.

Agriculture market in India for selling crops is fragmented and this fragmentation hinders free flow of agri commodities from one market area to another. Multiple handlers are the ones who make fat profits while the consumers pay a steep price without a corresponding benefit to the farmer.

In 2016, the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) released ‘Some Aspects of Farming in India’ report which showed that almost 85 per cent of coconut growers sell their produce to retailers and dealers in their immediate neighbourhood instead of approaching mandis. Out of other crops such as paddy, wheat, jowar etc, nearly 50 percent were sold through retailers and dealers as well.

Based on the government initiative, all states in the country except three of them have the mandate to market and sell the farm produce through mandis owned by individual states and or to retail markets without the need of a middleman. There are 6,746 such mandis and each one is located at a gap of 462 km. The government also aims to set up a wholesale market at every 80 km.

Most states have agreed to implement the new model Act proposed by the government. It is believed that this implementation will help in doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

“We aim to promote healthy competition by breaking down the existing monopolies of traders and middlemen,” said Ashok Dalwai, additional secretary at the agriculture ministry.

With the ability to sell to mandis that would fetch better prices for the crop, the next challenge would be to find out how? Where does a farmer go and how does he know if he is getting a better deal in one mandi and not the other.

My Farm Info, a software tool allows farmers to check different mandi prices in real time. Farmers can also look for mandis near them to sell their crops. With a listing of over 39 nearby showing the distance in kilometers and prices for each crop, farmers can choose the best mandi based on the distance and cost that is suitable for them to sell their crop. The price for selling at the Mandi’s will fetch 15-20% more than what the farmers can get by selling their crop to the middlemen and village-level dealers.

[bctt tweet=”Increasing farmers revenue by Rs130 a day! – My Farm Info” username=””]

My Farm Info not only helps farmers to sell their crops for a better price, but also work with the farmers in helping them better the quality and quantity of their yield. My farm info uses Internet of Things to prevent and mitigate crop losses for Farmer, Insurance Companies, and Government Stakeholders. With MyFarm info, farmers can begin to see results in such short time and by using this platform, they are able to reap benefits within the same season. The crop management section in this tool helps farmers find the probability of disease infestation in their crop ahead of time. Sophisticated algorithms are used from the last 10 years of historical data to find disease probability for farmer’s crop. Forecast Advisory can also be used by farmers to get early warning of disease infestation so they can take proper measures to minimize their losses.

Working with the potato farmers in West Bengal, My Farm Info was able to increase farmer’s revenue by Rs 130 per day. Potato farmers in West Bengal’s key struggle have been to deliver potatoes based on the quality requirement set by Pepsico and therefore face a high rejection rate.Their potato produce was greenish in color, high in water and sugar content and the reason for poor quality of the produce is because of improper irrigation management that leads to sub-optimal yields. By monitoring soil, water retention, weather forecasts, pests etc, MyFarm Info helped potato farmers in increasing the quality and quantity of their production.

 

 

How Internet of Things is changing the agricultural landscape in India

According to the Census of India, our population is expected to increase from 1029 million to 1400 million during the period 2001-2026 with a rate of 1.2 percent annually. India’s food grain production has doubled from 102 million tonnes in 1973 to 247.6 million tonnes in 2012-13 due to the growing population. However, the production gains from Green Revolution technologies has been rather low. Despite being the second highest producer of wheat and rice in the world, India accounts for one-third of world’s hungry. This can be attributed to various factors such as technology, irrigation methods, pricing policy and more.

Internet of Things is growing exponentially in India and is being utilized by various industries and verticals ranging from Healthcare to Automobiles, Supply management firms, and even startup companies. Indian Government has taken the initiative and framed policies to develop a connected, secure and a smart system based with an objective to create an IoT industry of USD 15 billion by 2020.

Being a farmer means shaking hands with nature.

The only way to improve the quality and quantity of produce to meet the growing population needs is by turning to Internet of things for smarter data-driven farming and agriculture.

So how does Internet of Things help the farming industry?

Better Pest Control

Crops across the world are only performing up to 20% of their full potential. Field Crop diseases are a threat to food security and by understanding the types of diseases that occur in their crops, farmers can take preventive measures and reduce their losses.

My farm Info is an innovative platform that uses Internet of Things to prevent and mitigate crop losses for Farmer, Insurance Companies, and Government Stakeholders. With MyFarm info, farmers can begin to see results in such short time and by using this platform, they are able to reap benefits within the same season. The crop management section in this tool helps farmers find the probability of disease infestation in their crop ahead of time. Sophisticated algorithms are used from the last 10 years of historical data to find disease probability for farmer’s crop. Forecast Advisory can also be used by farmers to get early warning of disease infestation so they can take proper measures to minimize their losses.

Better Water Management

With the help of Internet of Things, farmers can now make irrigation smarter. India uses 82% of the total water supply for agriculture. The soil is one of the most important elements in agriculture and the right soil moisture helps in growing crops to its full potential. The soil has the power to hold and retain moisture. By understanding the water storage capacity of the soil, it is possible to optimize the water needed for growing the crop. Soil humidity index is one such feature that provides information about soil capacity and intimates on when irrigation is needed for the farm.

Reduction of waste

By monitoring soil, water retention, weather forecasts, pests etc, it is possible to increase the quality and quantity of production. Potato farmers in West Bengal’s key struggle have been to deliver potatoes based on the quality requirement set by Pepsico and therefore face a high rejection rate.Their potato produce was greenish in color, high in water and sugar content and the reason for poor quality of the produce is because of improper irrigation management that leads to sub-optimal yields.

A platform that utilizes Internet of Things can support farmers and help them increase their productivity? MyFarmInfo is one such tool. In fact, farmers have been able to increase their income by 130 rupees a day ever since they began using this tool.

Better connectivity

Unlike the olden days in agriculture where farmers were isolated without proper technology to communicate, Internet of Things has made technology and connectivity available at fingertips. Farmers can receive SMS on their mobile phones on the weather forecast, and even schedules on pest control and irrigation. They can reach a ‘PLANT DOCTOR’ using WhatsApp and ask any queries that they may have about their plant. These knowledge and information help in taking better decisions in farming.

Smart Farming

It is important to know which crop is best to grow on a piece of land for long term yields. In the crop feasibility section of My Farm Info, farmers can find the feasibility of growing any crop on their farm. Through this, farmers can grow the crop which will produce maximum yield and avoid growing crops that are not feasible for their area. Fields are also geotagged on this software. With this information, My Farm Info provides farmers the optimum NPK application, nutrition information and optimal Mandi for their crop. Farmers can find out the mandi prices for the nearby mandies on this tool. Farmers can By choosing an optimal mandi among all their nearby mandies, they can get the best price for their crop.

Internet of Things is bringing a global shift in the field of Agriculture and will help farmers shift their perspective of farming to better yields and profitability.

The key to soil success – Helping farmers make optimum cultivation decisions

We all know that soil is the most important factor in agriculture. Healthy soil is the foundation of our food system as it produces healthy crops that in turn nourish people. There are two important aspects as far as soil properties are concerned. One is the ability of the soil to manage, hold and drain water. The other is nutrients management that includes Cation Exchange Capacity, Clay Content and Soil pH.

Soil Knowledge

Our planet is known to have over thousand different types of soil. Each soil needs to be treated differently. The soil is a living, dynamic ecosystem and its quality can vary greatly even within a region or a ­single field. How a farmer manages the farm can have crucial impacts on the environment. Most times issue rises because farmers are not aware of the best practices in soil management. The beauty about soil is that it can be regenerated and reproduced for repeat agriculture. Therefore, it is important for farmers to focus on preserving it. Farming is a continuous and complex process that also needs close monitoring, studying with a constant exchange of information. One of the primary, most obvious way to improve soil health is by growing crop on the ground at all times. Reducing tillage is another way to allow the soil to improve as organisms in the soil flourish.

How to keep your soil healthy?

It is important to consider the following in order to take good care of the soil.

  • Continuous monitoring of soil’s nutrients level
  • Use of precision agriculture practices to apply nutrients when necessary
  • Choose the right crop based on the soil composition
  • Rotation of crops to improve diversity
  • Reduce tilling
  • Reduce soil erosion and
  • Monitor soil moisture levels

To keep your soil healthy, it is important to have a well-drained soil. In a well-drained soil, optimal root growth happens without drainage problem. Efforts need to be taken to avoid erosion as the loss of nutrients in erosion can be up to 70%. Repeat soil testing and use appropriate fertilizer to help grow your drop.

Existing farming systems, due to repetitive harvesting reduces the nutrients and the organic matter and inadequate effort to replenish nutrients result in poor quantity and quality of harvest for the farmers. Understanding the soil helps farmers take informed decisions on what variety of crop to sow in which area and at what time. While this has been done the old fashioned way with sheer experience, IT has made farming easier in this day and age. Technology has created a revolution in Agriculture and with digital information on weather, soil, health, diseases, crop management etc, farmers are better equipped to face challenges ahead in time. They are therefore able to optimize their harvest yield to get larger outputs.

Did you know?
Excessive use of chemical fertilizers has impacted soil fertility in Punjab that has led to an increase in cancer.

My Farm Info is one such tool on agriculture information system created to help farmers maximize their income by providing them ways to increase their yield and help them get the best price for their produce. This software allows farmers to access key farm information and take necessary action when it matters most. With this tool, farmers can view their fields and crop plans on the map once the geotag their farm on the website. It also allows farmers to connect with a farm doctor through SMS or WhatsApp to get details on weather, soil etc.

‘’The more a farmer knows about his soils, the better equipped he is to decide which varieties to sow in a certain area to produce optimal yields’’
Tobias Menne, head of Digital Farming at Bayer’s Crop Science Division.

My Farm Info also suggests the right crops based on long-term forecasts of that specific field & soil moisture maps. Soil humidity index provides information about the water storage capacity of the soil and recommended the optimal fertilizer needed to improve along with the best time to irrigate.

In the Citrus fields in Abohar, India, My Field Info helped farmers using their soil moisture sensor technology in taking impactful action in their field. By providing soil information including Cation Exchange Capacity, Clay Content, Soil pH and comprehensive soil data, we were able to help the farmer make optimum cultivation decisions.

Soil Moisture Data in this tool also provides optimum field irrigation schedule for the farmers. This kind of information helped farmers plan their cultivation at ease. We were able to optimize the soil choice by understanding the soil matter content in taking planned decisions.The tool also offers Crop Management Solutions by providing nutrition advisory ensuring that the farmer has access to crop nutrition oversight throughout its life cycle.

Why use MyfarmInfo?

My Farm Info aims to show results within a season and by using this platform, farmers will now be able to reap benefits within the same season. Farmers are geo-tagged for and their precise field details can be viewed by hovering over the farm location on Myfarminfo.

Techniques for Regenerative Agriculture to Increase Farm Productivity and Crop Yield

Myfarminfo provides farmers and other stakeholders the best guidance and information about the weather and suitability factor so that optimum harvesting can be gathered. This ensures that all farmers will get the right amount of return on investment. Myfarminfo is providing various ways to use the same land and soil several times with better qualities and productivity rate.

Regenerative Agriculture is a practice which deals with the studies about how to keep the soil enriched with minerals and to develop and enhance the nurturing of crops and farms etc. Regenerative Agriculture makes the quality of soil better such that it provides many advantages as the beneficial factors. It is a set of efforts and rules which if works consistently and appropriately then they will provide the high profit in the agricultural field. It strengthens the growth which is good for present and well as for future. The new ways to establish regenerative agriculture are as follows:

  1. Polyculture: As the name suggests, polyculture means to grow many different species in one portion. As every crop has different needs and requirements, hence the task is fruitful in balancing the different species. The monoculture is traditional way of farming which is not such good. Monoculture leads to result of destruction of the entire crops due to any natural calamity, heat or any other pesticide effects. Soil fertility also reduces due to monoculture. It’s the reason for loss of habitat of animals and results in ecological imbalance.
  1. The soil food web: As far as the technology is advancing, the nature is not run out off the race. Again and again, nature proves to be most potent among all machinery developments. The Soil Food Web is the natural process accomplish by the microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, and others etc. They used up the soil and making it healthier than before, provides the same to the roots of the living plants. The newly generated soil is better in many aspects including the reason of not- availability of any chemical fertilizer into the ground.
  2. Holistic management: Holistic management approach deals with the decisions made by the farmers or the other parties keeping different aspects of the ecology including the financial, environmental, and biological and the social aspects etc. Various tests are being carried on to make the technique more usable and familiar. It is a new framework for regenerative agriculture and so broad to practice. Education is not such counts but proper understanding and accurate decision making is the game changer!
  1. Properly managed livestock: Properly managed livestock i.e. PML is another way to regenerate a As farm animals are considered as the primary assets to the farmer, therefore, their health and growth will work on the performance of the agriculture. Hence, one should invest money on anything with full consideration and consequences in mind. Better you manage the livestock, better the advancement and growth you will see and feel in the farms. The business will perfectly give colorful results. It is a mandatory practice to see and control the number of breeds and species are consuming the same field. Over grazing of the same region may affect the agricultural process.
  1. No- till crop production: Tilling means the damaging of soil. Tilling happens due to the physical disturbance takes place beneath the earth. The effect is too dangerous that it is measured to have more harmful effects than using fertilizers and pesticides etc. Hence , awareness among farmers and the cultivators is increasing day by day so that they can change their way of farming. The No – Till Crop Production will provide efficient and fertile soil which eventually will produce good crops and the process will be more profitable.

 

  1. Perennial crops: Are you aware of the crops of apples and alfalfa? Yes, these both are the perennial crops which can be harvested repeatedly before they get vanished. The practice of cultivating perennial plants is new to agriculture. It reduces the soil erosion and feeds the soil food web to make the soil more fertile. It also results in balancing the habitat etc.

Image result for Regenerative Agriculture

  1. Permaculture : Another concept in regenerative agriculture is Permaculture. Permaculture is the mechanism to design a landscape after observing the requirements of agriculture and the environment etc. As human life has importance of morals and ethics to balance everything, similarly nature also needs balance. Permaculture has three primary standards: The Earth’s Care, the Citizen’s Care and a good return on Investment or Surplus. It works as the additional activity to the core farming needs. The higher the efforts, the more beautiful will the emergence of results.

 

  1. Thermal composting: Among the different composting techniques, one is the thermal composting. Thermal Composting is the path which is desired to maintain the lives of microbes because the tiny organisms do much for the vast plantation growth. Thermal Composting provides the best way to keep soil nutrients efficient and beneficial. The microorganisms are significant of the fertility of the soil. There is no surprise in knowing that the secret of healthy and enrich soil is the staying of these little microbes.
Draw your own Farm

The methods mentioned above are all researched based projects and studies in Agricultural Science. The development and advancement are both ever- lasting processes. Therefore, the betterment continues. The team of Myfarminfo always solves queries and gives timely information to the desired parties and customers. Hence, Myfarminfo is working for the welfare of people of India who are mainly engaged in Agricultural sector. What we need is to extract the maximum knowledge from the present scenario and make it reliable for the future.