The use of observatory methods by farmers in assessing the condition of the farm and grazing land without making physical contact in them describes a form of remote sensing. For example, the observation of the leaves’ colors as well as the general appearances of the crops and plants is an ideal way to establish the condition of the plant. Even though there is much emphasis nowadays on the aspect of agricultural remote sensing, an age-old practice dating back in the 1950s. In spite of this, the introduction and advancement of technology has improved the approaches used in various aspects of modern farming.
Presently, remote sensing has become easily accessible to most people and beneficial to different types of people. The use of automated test systems has become quite useful in interacting and measuring things in the modern world. Such sensors are very important in the collection of farm data such as surface finish, color, temperature, pressure, weight, strength, distance, and size.
The majority of the farmers are embracing modern farming technology for its continued benefits. Through the adoption of technology in farming, it has become easy for farmers to improve their production capacity while at the same time reducing their cost of operation. The appropriate selection as well as the use of farm sensors is an important element if consideration in ensuring that systems function as expected.
Choosing the best farm sensors
While sensors are very important in the modern farming, it can be a daunting task to choose the appropriate sensor for your needs. In most of the cases, various farmers find it hard to choose the best sensors depending on your needs.
Here are some of the factors to consider to when choosing farm sensors.
- Precision and accuracy
Precision and accuracy are quite different but they mean a lot when it comes to choosing the best farm sensors. In farming, especially in precision farming the major element that determines the success of the involved activities is the level of accuracy and precision of activities. Usually, you need to ensure that the right amount of input in applied to achieve a specific output. Accuracy is the measure of how close a certain reading or measurement is, with respect to the true value. On the other hand, precision is the ability of a device to detect very small changes in reading.
As such, the precision and accuracy of the farm sensors matter. Any given instrument ought to be precise and accurate in order to give the required system measurement. If a sensor has high precision, the chances are high that you may get false impression about the element being measured. Similarly, a sensor that is highly accurate can be quite expensive, or even, in such cases, hard to use. Nevertheless, farm sensors may be affected by other factors including converters, gauges, signal conditioners, wiring, and transducer error. Understanding the various types of errors is important in making sure that you select the best farm sensors.
Understanding the various types of environments is necessary in making the choice about the best sensor that is appropriate for a given farm use. In most of the cases, environments change depending on various aspects. As such, different environmental changes are likely to affect many sensors. For example, some non-ideal conditions associated with temperature such as chemicals, humidity, vibration, and temperature variation among other factors have diverse impacts on the efficiency of the farm sensors.
The fact that environmental factors affect the efficiency, accuracy and precision of sensors should guide you to choose a farm sensor that can withstand certain factors. It is advisable to be aware of the environmental conditions in the area you want to use a certain sensor in order to make informed decision on the type of sensor to buy. Usually, factors such as mounting and packaging of the sensor are important aspects that you need to ascertain to ensure that they can withstand the area’s conditions of the environment. For instance, if you are operating in a windy area, or a frosty area, you need a sensor that is designed to operate in such areas and still give precise and accurate results.
- Signal conditioning
Many non-ideal realities can be experienced in sensors all over the world. For example, electrical noise is a common problem that is noticeable in any sensor and can lead to making errors in reading. The use of signal conditioners, as well as various other types of protection circuits can prevent some of the effects caused by the presence of extraordinary realities in the farm sensors. However, there are times when the signal conditioners many not work which prompts the evaluation of the signal in the course of the process of designing the sensors.
- Response time
The response time refers to the time the sensor takes responding to a given command. For instance, you may experience a microprocessor that takes about an hour to respond to a command to get information form a pressure sensor based on the programmed 5 minutes. Such a sensor is not the best and hence, you need to get one that has a quick response time.
- Size of the sensor
Farm sensors come in different sizes and types. The ideal size of sensor depends on the project that you have. As such, you need to take some time and evaluate the sensor that fits your project based on the project’s size. For instance, you do not have to buy a 200 feet sensor for temperature sensing when you could do the same task with a centimeter chip.
The cost of the sensor is one of the important factors that you need to consider beforehand. Although some people do not factor the cost of acquiring a sensor in the initial stages, it is an important element that determines whether a sensor that has all the above features is affordable. It is advisable to have a rough estimate in terms of the cost of the sensor that you are looking for.
Using farm sensors have become a common practice in any modern farm. As such, you need to get the sensor that will help you get all the information you need in your farm seamlessly. The six factors discussed above are not the only factors that you can consider though they are some of the important ones. Did we miss a point? Let us know and feel free to share the article with fellow farmers.