Connective technology developed in Norwich could help monitor crops 

Scientists on the Norwich Research Park have been collaborating to develop an open-source information management system that can be used for constant crop growth monitoring. The technology, called CropSight, is able to collect information on crop performance and what affects it, such as climate. The data is reachable through smart devices, both in the lab and in the field using Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure.

Platform for Innovation?

The biggest problem with data collected by Internet of Things devices is the sheer amount it can produce, the new CropSight system, developed by scientists from the John Innes Centre (JIC), Earlham Institute (EI) and University of East Anglia (UEA) on the Norwich Research Park uses this huge amount of data to provide near-real time environmental and growth monitoring

This technology is expected to be useful on many levels, from plant scientists working on crop performance to farmers monitoring their crops in fluctuating conditions. Dr Simon Griffiths (JIC) said ‘We believe that the system could have significant impact on scalable plant phenotypic leading to more efficient gene discovery, crop breeding and ultimately end-user benefits.’

 Dr Simon Griffiths, John Innes Centre

Reaping the Rewards of Technology

The Internet of Things is the idea of the interconnection of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. This is becoming more and more common in the home (think Amazon Alexia, smart thermostats you can control from your phone and coffee makers you can programme to have your cuppa ready when you get back). But the application of this technology in farming could result in better control in internal processes and therefore a lower production risk to growers. It is predicted that by 2020 there will be 75 million IoT device installations, growing 20% each year. As well as constant monitoring of crop and climate IoT could be used in agriculture for greenhouse automation, cattle monitoring and management, and overall smart farm management. Watch this space, New Anglia!