Green IoT and Agriculture: Building Greener, More Sustainable Farming

April 6

Now that IoT has helped organizations become more efficient, the next stage in its evolution is focused on sustainability through green IoT. Since it takes electricity to power computing equipment, from sensors to mainframes, a greener internet involves cutting energy consumption, tapping clean and renewable energy sources, and reducing waste. And as a typically energy- and resource-heavy industry, agriculture is one sector that could certainly benefit from green IoT.

Keys to Making IoT Greener

Large data centers can contribute to a toxic environment. As a result, there's growing interest in the adoption of more sustainable technology.

Reducing IoT energy usage is an important step in the quest toward a cleaner environment. The essence of green IoT is the strategic placement of sensors that monitor environmental conditions such as temperature, moisture, and humidity. IoT sensors can also measure pollutants in the ground, water, and air. One of its most helpful applications in agriculture is to cut costs on energy, water, and other resources. Data can help pinpoint waste, as machine learning software generates automated solutions for efficiency and deficiency issues.

Another advantage of using data monitoring for improving the environment is that it can lead to better quality food production. It further paves a path toward less dependence on fossil fuels while making greenhouses even more modern and efficient. In fact, a 24/7 intelligent greenhouse is giving modern farmers a higher degree of quality control than ever before. Drones are another type of technology contributing to smart agriculture, as farmers can monitor crops from the sky.

Green IoT-Based Agriculture

As IoT devices are beginning to be embedded in farming equipment and across farms, the concept of smart agriculture is transforming farmlands everywhere. The use of smart sensors is helping farmers see greater crop yields while cutting costs. It's also making the irrigation process more efficient.

Here are the three areas of smart agriculture technology:

  • Precision agriculture - This idea works with a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) to improve crop yields by reducing risks in the production process. The sensors are placed in fields and livestock breeding environments to monitor various data that affect growing conditions. A major component of precision agriculture is 3S technology, which encompasses Remote Sensing (RS), a Geographic Information System (GIS), and a Global Positioning System (GPS). Precision agriculture also provides better use of pesticides, improves land usage, and helps to maintain the best conditions for growth.
  • Facility agriculture - Used for industrial agricultural production, this practice aims to improve crop quality and yield driven by capital investment and high output. It embraces crop production technology to meet market demand. The two main areas of facility agriculture are facility horticulture and farming. Some of the technologies that integrate with this farming mode are biotechnology, engineering, and meteorological devices. This management control system helps farmers predict crop conditions. It also utilizes an "intelligent greenhouse", which is full of sensors to monitor internal climate data.
  • Climate monitoring - IoT solutions enable farmers to understand weather condition in real time. Sensors placed inside and outside of agriculture fields collect data from the environment, which is then used to choose crops that can grow and sustain in particular climate conditions. Additionally, these sensors can send alerts when disturbing weather conditions are discovered. This eliminates the need of a physical presence during possibly dangerous weather events.


New concepts in green IoT are helping farmers run their facilities more efficiently than in the past, leading to greater output of higher quality food production. Innovations, such as automated greenhouse technology and precision farming, are changing the way farmers manage the growing conditions of crops. This smarter ecosystem, based on wireless sensors, can give farmers the data they need to steer toward less waste, a safer environment, and greater profitability.

Johannes Beekman

About the author

After 25 years in engineering, Johannes Beekman founded IoT Marketing with the goal of helping companies bring wide-scale awareness to their inventions. He received a Master of Science in Physics degree from the Eindhoven University of Technology, and a Master in Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and started his career in the semiconductor field. Johannes pioneered two successful wafer fab startups for Philips Electronics; one in Europe and the second one in Asia. And served as Senior Program Manager for Sematech, where he provided solutions for semiconductor industry-wide product improvement and cost reduction challenges. Johannes has also published articles on several trade-focused websites.


IoT-based agriculture, precision agriculture, renewable energy, smart ecosystem, smart farming, sustainability

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