Traditionally, agriculture is an industry resistant to change and slow to adopt modern technology. This is why, despite numerous potential use cases, IoT has not been used in a widespread way. But that is starting to change…
The industry’s initial reluctance is understandable. The first IoT solutions were too costly to track entire herds of livestock or monitor fields of crops, making them of limited use to farmers. However, with new inexpensive sensors and ubiquitous wireless coverage courtesy of the Helium network, IoT offers real solutions to these age-old problems. And many companies are starting to notice – and some are taking their first steps into the world of smart sensors.
This brings us to our recent partnership with M3 Agriculture Technologies.
During the summer of 2021, we began initial discussions with M3 relating to LoRaWAN communication protocols, decentralized networks, and low-cost sensors for agriculture. After multiple Zoom meetings, Nathan Moses-Gonzales (CEO) and Michael Milam (CTO) from M3 flew to San Antonio to meet with us at our San Antonio headquarters.
We realized we had a shared interest in decentralized communications and open source tools. And following this meeting, we decided to partner on deploying 30 hotspots in a remote testing location operated by M3. These tests led to several discoveries that have the potential to disrupt the entire industry. Big Agriculture will be taking stock soon.
Essentially, our sensors allow for real-time tracking of multiple agriculture-related data points. Soil moisture sensors use a probe to track the temperature, moisture, and conductivity of soil –essential information to optimize crop care. Durable outdoor air quality sensors enable constant tracking of external conditions. Finally, industrial-grade Modbus devices allow us to monitor all of this data in one location and integrate it with legacy control systems. Crucially, this minimizes the need for large investments in expensive new equipment.
And, with our D-Web Devices app, farmers can view all of their data in one place, in real-time. They can also use our open-source APIs to export their data to their favorite IoT software. No replacing of existing software or wasting time onboarding new software and training employees on how to use it..
In addition, by working together with M3’s proprietary drone technology, this system is a powerful new way for farmers and growers to manage their crops, maximizing their yield and profits.
Following the success of our initial deployment, we’ve decided to expand our efforts, focusing on sensors that support crop and insect population monitoring. During the summer of 2022, our IoT footprint will expand to include further deployments of decentralized LoRaWAN networks and sensors – covering geographically larger areas.
M3 Agriculture Technologies is widely viewed as a disruptive force within agriculture. Their open-source business model is a new approach within a historically closed-source industry. It works closely with growers, industry, and governments to provide sustainable, regenerative services to food producers throughout the western United States, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Nathan Moses-Gonzales, CEO of M3 Agriculture Technologies, explained the importance of technological innovation for this critical industry.
"Agriculture is at an inflection point where the sector as a whole faces data-driven consolidation. This consolidation is occurring alongside increased weather variability and a swelling global population. Consolidation will push out farmers, ranchers, and growers from the land at a moment when we need practitioners with generational knowledge and bonds to the land to ensure our food security. To combat consolidation, a new decentralized approach that focuses on grower to grower coordination is necessary." – Nathan Moses-Gonzales.
The goal of our partnership is to combat this consolidation by increasing grower to grower coordination. Coordinating resources, alongside the deployment of low-cost sensors and decentralized networks can help growers increase their productivity – while also reducing the cost to produce food through precision applications and optimal growing practices.
Together, we’re disrupting an industry that is traditionally set in its ways, and helping to bring agriculture into the 21st century. All made possible by the blockchain.
Join us on the journey at dweb.net