Agricultural IoT will see a very rapid growth over the next 10 years

12 January 2016

Machina Research today published 'Land Agriculture: Decision farming and livestock management driving IoT' the latest in its regular series of Application Spotlights providing detailed analysis of all IoT applications. The key findings of the study, related to the use of IoT in farming and related areas were as follows:

  • The transition from precision farming to decision farming is driving a greater adoption of machine-to-machine sensors in farming
  • Adoption is primarily motivated by the need to increase yields to meet growing demand for food and to counter the effects of the increasing cost of the main inputs: labour, fuel, fertilisers and water.
  • The ongoing weakness in farm spending especially in the United States and Europe is expected to impact adoption in the near-term, with the longer term outlook looking more favourable
  • China is expected to be a large market for Agricultural IoT with both the operators and government prioritizing agriculture in their latest ‘Internet Plus’ action plan.
  • Compliance with regulations on food traceability is a driver of IoT applications, often using data from RFID tagging.
  • Low wages in many primarily agricultural countries are a barrier to growth when IoT solutions cost more than the labour they replace.
  • The large areas managed by individual farm workers mean that IoT brings huge benefits in reducing distances travelled. For example monitoring livestock so that they do not have to be inspected visually every day or controlling greenhouse shading automatically.

Established players in the sector, such as John Deere, are actively embracing IoT as a way to increase efficiency. There are also a growing number of innovative new player in the sector such as Farmlink, Moonitor, Silent Herdsman and Vital Herd. Overall Machina Research expects this to be one of the fastest growing sectors in IoT, growing from 13 million connections at the end of 2014 to 225 million connected devices by 2024. Around half of those connections will use the newly emerging Low Power Wide Area network technologies which are particularly well suited to many of the applications in agriculture. Revenue in the sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22%.

This Application Spotlight is available via subscription to the Machina Research Advisory Service. If you would like to know more about how to access our research, please contact us.

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