The new IoT solutions in the agriculture industry provide some of the best and most efficient results and solutions for growing crops. However, new reports suggest that the implementation of such new and innovative IoT solutions may be hindered, because of the high service costs.
Just some of the benefits delivered by the implementation of IoT in agriculture are the more organic and efficient pest control, dealing with water shortages, as well as reductions in the amount of water, soil and seeds needed, as well as delivering better yield rates. However, there is still a slow adoption of the new technology. According to reports, one of the main concerns of farmers is that they are not able to save enough so that their savings constitute for the extremely high price of the implementation of IoT systems and their service costs.
The high cost of IoT services hindering the implementation of new solutions can be seen in other industries. For example, retailers have had the chance to choose from a huge array of IoT startups that help them by delivering extremely detailed data analytics on shopper behaviour. However, most retailers have skipped using such services, due to the fact that the costs of such services does not outweigh the added revenue per customer these retailers receive.
There are a few up and coming suppliers of IoT services in the Agricultural industry. One of the most notable ones is OnFarm Systems that provide users with their Grower Dasboard, which is basically a platform that lets farmers use and manage farm sensors, monitor cloud and water irrigation, temperature, view analytics and schedule different tasks. On top of all these features, OnFarm have integrated SMS alerts, weather data, storage and backup, messaging service as well as maps. Everything costs only $100 per year for one user. While on the surface the price seems relatively affordable and cheap, OnFarm has some severe limitations. For example, without an additional payment a user would be limited to only three data streams for only one property. If one would like to receive more information, they would have to pay as much as $500 per year, that gives unlimited integrated data, acres and data feeds. However, the user would also have to pay an additional $100 for every virtual weather station that a user will purchase, which adds up to the cost quite a lot.
The Hard Decision Making of Tech Investments in the Agriculture Industry
While companies are starting to invest in the development of new technologies in the Agriculture Industry, with some reports even showing Agriculture as the top IoT investment industry, things are not looking great for the farmers. The aforementioned OnFarm system is relatively affordable compared to other products on the market. For example, Phytech costs as much as $500 per acre. According to some studies, the use of technologies, such as Phytech, are able to reduce the water usage as much as 10 percent in two weeks, but farmers don’t believe that the reduction is enough in order to cover the cost. As the agriculture industry is not seeing large profits, the IoT service provides should start lowering the costs of their services. The state of the industry does allow new IoT startups to enter the market, which is great, but only time will tell if farmers will start using the new emerging technologies more tha