Smart farming: using drones and the 5G network for precise fertilising and watering.
3 min

Good food and a clear conscience

Column: What 5G Innovation Manager Matthias Jungen hopes to get from the 5G network on and around the farm.

When I’m making a delicious meal, I prefer to use local products, which I either buy directly from farmers or at the market, as the taste is more intense when the fruit and vegetables are fully ripe. I also have more trust in the food if I know the producer. And the shorter transport route makes the CO2 emissions lower. Even so, I sometimes shop at a wholesaler on my way home, or online, if it’s more convenient. But then I forego all the local benefits.

Smart farming makes both farmers and consumers happy

In that way, I am probably a fairly typical modern-day consumer. However, for the farmers, such demands don’t make life easier. In the agricultural sector, pressure on margins and from competitors is high. I wish that the farmers could respond to these demands, but that will only happen through the use of modern technology which can bring down production costs and simplify direct sales.

Smart farming

Using technologies such as IoT-based sensors, fields can be analysed and cultivated precisely. In this way, sensors can measure moisture, for example, or the nitrogen content of the soil. Or cameras can detect weeds or diseases. This detailed information enables the farmers to target the use of fertiliser, herbicides, pesticides and watering exactly where it is needed. Smart farming thereby helps to achieve efficient cultivation of the land, which decreases costs and helps the environment.

When a field is equipped with sensors, the watering and use of fertiliser and pesticides can be optimised. For example, the sensors signal via the 5G network that the nitrogen content in one corner of the field is too low, whilst another corner is too dry or has a pest infestation. The farmer can now apply fertiliser, water or pest control precisely in these targeted areas, saving water, fertilisers and pesticides and thereby also reducing costs. I then conveniently order the ripe fruit and vegetables from the farmer’s online shop.

Drones deliver the tomatoes

If I think even further ahead, I can see other entirely different opportunities for improving efficiency. Instead of using pesticides, field robots would be used to detect weeds and pull them out. That would help the environment and cause less pollution to the groundwater. Animal welfare can also be improved. For example, fawns could be located by drones carrying thermal imaging cameras before the grass is cut. Water consumption will be metered precisely, heatwave or not. Robots and drones will move around autonomously and communicate via the 5G network without any delay in transmission.

And when I imagine a solar-powered 5G transport drone, instead of a truck, delivering my fresh tomatoes directly from the farm to the city, my conscience is as delighted as my taste buds!

 

 

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1 thought on “Good food and a clear conscience

  1. Macht man so Werbung bei euch ? Ich bestreite nicht das 5G viele Möglichkeiten bitten kann, doch sollte die Technik erst richtig erforscht und gesichert werden.
    Was bring uns technologischer Fortschritt der bei Mensch und Tier die Gesundheit angreifen und schädigen kann. Ich verstehe das swisscom gerne Marktführer sein will aber ist das ganze Konzept nicht eine riesen Lüge da man die Rechte schon verkauft hat bevor man überhaupt die Bürger von diesem wunderbaren Land gefragt hat ?
    Und dann hab ich noch eine Anmerkung wen jetzt alles so wunderbar läuft bekommen den die Bauern einen Zuschuss vom Bund damit sie ihre Technik umrüsten können ( Drohnen und Automatisiert Steuersysteme ) so werden unfaire Voraussetzungen geschaffen da sich das nicht mehr alle leisten können. Denken sie das werden wir das Volk annehmen?
    Ich würde sagen antworten sie mal auf diese fragen und bringen lösungs Vorschläge bevor sie in dieser form Werbung für ein Produkt machen das Gesundheit und Wohlbefinden Schädigt mit freundlichen Grüssen Marcel Kägi

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