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Smart agriculture: an innovative and sustainable approach

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Smart tractors that work the fields independently. Field sensors capable of monitoring soil parameters and plant health. Collars, applied to grazing animals, to track the movements of the herds and choose the best time for milking. Smart agriculture is a reality, thanks to the application of technologies made possible by the power of 5G networks that enable the digital transition and transform precision agriculture into a concrete reality.

A way to win the challenge of sustainable crops, combining productivity and sustainability: healthy and quality products, with a lower consumption of water resources and a reduced environmental impact, while also protecting biodiversity. This is one of the objectives of the Tim Easy Farm offer, the precision agriculture and farm management service developed with Olivetti – the Digital Factory for IoT solutions of the Tim Group – for farms and consortia, which allows for the optimization of operations in the field. and the resources used, optimizing costs, management and production.

A first experimentation was carried out by Tim in the vineyards of the Voerzio-Martini winery, in the splendid setting of the Langhe: it allowed to improve the quality of viticulture thanks to the use of 5G technologies integrated with innovative tools such as monitoring with drones, sensors, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Blockchain. A collection of data that has made it possible to improve efficiency, rationalize costs and use resources and treatments in a targeted manner, crop control and protection and advanced traceability. The result: an increase in quality, but above all a strong reduction of the environmental impact.

Another laboratory to experiment with the new frontiers of sustainable agriculture is the ‘Riccagioia Agri 5.0 project, a company in the Oltrepo Pavese, a hotbed of projects for the crops to come. This is a public-private collaboration born from synergies with the Lombardy region through Ersaf, the national agency for agriculture and forests, and which also sees Tim and Olivetti among the partners of the initiative. The structure will also be used to create a pole of information, physical / digital sensory experiences and access and support to food and wine tourism services, provided by the agricultural and hospitality structures of the Lombardy region. A real “Farm to fork” platform, from field to plate, under the banner of food technology.

Applications for smart agriculture will show their full potential with the spread of 5G and the Internet of Things, the network of things that allows you to connect sensors and machinery. From field sensors, which are planted in the ground or installed on plants and continuously detect parameters such as humidity, acidity or soil temperature, to connected tractors on the fields for plowing, sowing or tillage without human intervention. While the drones, equipped with cameras, multispectral sensors and GPS geolocation systems, acquire useful data to obtain orthophotos, plantation vigor indices and prescription maps that help to understand the health of crops and the quantity of seeds, fertilizer and plant protection products to distribute. Finally, the dissemination of digital systems and solutions for the management of administrative and accounting processes of agricultural enterprises, such as the administration of the single company file, the registers of specific processes such as the management of special waste and fuels. Everything, to make agriculture more and more intelligent.

We are moving towards a new model of agriculture that can combine greater productivity and sustainability. Telecommunications technology applied to precision agriculture plays a decisive role in innovating the entire agricultural supply chain, providing a valuable aid to face the new challenges and generating significant benefits for all the players involved.

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