Data-driven farming: How IoT delivers hyperlocal weather information affordably

Data-driven farming: How IoT delivers hyperlocal weather information affordably

Data-driven farming: How IoT delivers hyperlocal weather information affordably
The World Food Program warns that droughts, fires and storms could endanger food security for billions of people. To adapt, farmers need current, local and reliable information to help them choose the seeds and planting schedules best suited to local weather conditions.

Traditional weather sensors, however, are often too expensive and difficult to operate in large parts of the developing world. This results in scarce farming and weather data for much of the globe.

Farmers need hyperlocal information—both timely and local. With IoT and new connectivity options, affordable sensors that are easy to operate can collect the vital information farmers require.

Arable CEO Adam Wolf, who has a master’s degree in agronomy from the University of California, Davis and a Ph.D. in biology from Stanford, is an expert in sustainable agriculture. Field research led him to conclude that linking plant growth, soil and local weather data results in better decisions with less risk. The bottleneck was data collection. How could a system be designed that gives more granular information than rogue weather forecasts and satellite data?

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And so the Arable Pulsepod was born. An Internet of Things (IoT) device that could revolutionize farming, the Arable Pulsepod is a low-cost, self-powered crop-monitoring solution. Its sleek, functional design results from the collaboration between Arable and Bould Design, whose founder, Fred Bould, designed the Nest thermostat.

The Pulsepod is a self-contained solution that’s solar powered and can be installed easily. It has built-in GPS and advanced sensors to measure 40 observation streams related to plant growth, soil conditions and weather conditions. It supports cellular (2G/3G), Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for connectivity. The data collected can be fed through an API to data analysis platforms such as Granular or Farmer’s Business Network. The Pulsepod works practically anywhere in the world thanks to pre-provisioned SIM cards from Hologram.

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