Modern farming techniques are changing significantly. The use of technology gives farmers greater insight into animal health and welfare as well as soil and growing conditions for crops. NTAG® SmartSensors ensure all this data can be easily captured and logged so farmers can instantly make the right decisions.
Farmers face increased pressure on traditional farming techniques. Many are embracing technological advances to give them the data they need to operate more cost-effectively and sustainably. For example, preventing disease and enhancing herd health through better monitoring of an individual animal’s health and adjusting their nutrition correspondingly. Or scrutinizing soil conditions to increase the effectiveness of pesticides and fertilizers, and use them more selectively.
21st century tagging
Since the late 1990s, electronic animal identification has been carried out throughout Europe. In fact, NXP’s RFID technology played a key role in its development and implementation. Stored information was initially very basic, but it could be used to track the animal through the supply chain and contain place-of-origin data. With NTAG SmartSensors, detecting anomalies in an animal’s health can now be achieved remotely. Early detection of infection helps address the health of an individual animal but also that of the entire herd. Alternatively, farmers can monitor when a cow is in heat or needs to calve and react immediately, gaining valuable knowledge and time.
Animal fitness monitor
Just as health and fitness monitoring apps have become the norm for people, an NTAG SmartSensor enabled ear-tag can provide similar data for animals. Logging temperature data along with accelerometer data provides an overview on the activity and status of each animal. The ear-tag has an impressive seven-year life span using a single coin cell thanks to the ultra-low power consumption of the NTAG SmartSensor. Moreover, automated systems can read the information via NFC, allowing farmers to easily interpret the data and take appropriate, well-informed action.
Insight into soil conditions
While livestock farmers have embraced tagging technology for some time, it is only recently that crop production has taken similar steps. Climate change, biodiversity and greater sustainability are all driving this change. The environmental and cost pressures to minimize the use of fertilizers and pesticides have also contributed. As farmers look for new ways to improve crop health and output, data is vital. That can be greater insight into soil conditions (moisture, pH levels, etc.) as well as general growing conditions (temperature, amount of light, etc.).
Optimized growing conditions
With NXP’s NTAG SmartSensors, assessing the status of plants is easy and effective. Sensor-enabled poles can simply be inserted into the ground, collecting and logging critical data. This enables farmers to understand and optimize the growing conditions for specific crops. They can analyze which fields and plant groups have the optimal soil moisture and indicate which may need additional treatment – for example enabling sprinkler systems to be automatically switched on or off depending on moisture data.
Freeing up time
One of the most time-consuming parts of a farmer’s day is of course checking on the wellbeing of animals and crops. With NTAG SmartSensors that data can be collected, logged and transmitted to the cloud quickly and easily. Whether it is by having a reader at food / water stations or simply having a drone fly over a field to collect data aerially (via RAIN RFID) – it certainly cuts down the time the farmer needs to spend inspecting their land. Farmers can now build an advanced, robust and energy-efficient system, to monitor the health, welfare and reproductive cycle, resulting in early detection of issues and reduction in costs.
Take a look at our latest “Smart Farming” video and our “Animal Tagging” video.
For more information, visit us at NTAG SmartSensor or contact Stefan de Troch.