Introduction to Azure FarmBeats

19 maart 2021 om 10:00 by ParTech Media - Post a comment

Do we need a technological solution to optimize our farming procedures? Is there a solution that will help farmers produce higher yields without drawing their crops in pesticides and fertilizers?

If you are looking for an answer to the questions stated above, FarmBeats might be your answer. In this blog post, let’s take a look at one of Microsoft Azure’s popular offerings - FarmBeats.

Apart from understanding ‘what is Azure FarmBeats’, we will also look into a real-life example of it at the end of this blog post.

Table of Contents

  1. What is Azure FarmBeats?
  2. Key features of Azure FarmBeats
  3. Add-ons for Azure FarmBeats
  4. Real-life use case of Azure FarmBeats
  5. Verdict

What is Azure FarmBeats?

Azure FarmBeats is one of the latest offerings of Microsoft in the agriculture space. Azure FarmBeats allows you to collect data from your farm and bring in greater yield. It uses a combination of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine learning (ML) to build solutions for agriculture. Azure FarmBeats uses a collection of sensors, drones, and satellite images to monitor your farmlands. It gathers data from all these different sources and gives you meaningful information.

Azure FarmBeats can offer you various insights like the moisture content in your soil, the number of sensors you need to place, and the ideal places for that sensor. The core idea of Azure FarmBeats is quite simple - Sustainable Agricultural technology can transform the global food landscape.

Azure FarmBeats is aimed at agri-tech startups that are blowing up all over the world. With enough adaptation, we can permanently change the way we approach food sustainability in the world.

Key features of Azure FarmBeats

Azure FarmBeats has a bunch of features that will benefit every single agri-tech startup and tech-oriented farmer. Here are some of the top features -

Create your own farm using a map

Azure FarmBeats allows you to create or allocate your farm with the help of a map. If a map is not accurate, you can also use a JSON to select your farm for proceeding with the action.

Track the condition of your farm

Azure FarmBeats allows you to track the condition of your farm using sensors. These sensors may include everything from humidity sensors to temperature detecting sensors. You can use the power of the IoT to connect these sensors to Azure and get a good idea of the condition of your farm.

Bird’s eye view of your farm’s health

Azure FarmBeats also allows you to get a bird’s eye view of your farm using satellite images. This image will be processed with the power of AI to give you great insights. You can get close insights for improving the health of your farm and increasing average yield.

Track your soil moisture levels

Azure FarmBeats use a combination of sensors and satellites to help you view the moisture levels in your soil. It will also give you suggestions for where and how to place new sensors on your farm. This step will allow you to get even accurate results of your soil moisture levels.

Get recommendations on sensor placement

Azure FarmBeats will allow you to get recommendations for your sensor placement on your farm. This saves you a ton of time on guessing the right quantity and position of sensors. Even better is that it will allow you to get better results over time.

Fuel the growth of AGRI solution startups

Finally, Azure FarmBeats will fuel and accelerate the growth of your AGRI solution startups all over the world. This will lead to a quality yield and a better world to live in. A world where we can sufficiently generate food for everyone who needs it.

Add-ons for Azure FarmBeats

Azure FarmBeats has two components that make it the best in the market.

Datahub

It is an API layer that allows you to normalize and contextualize data obtained from different sources. The different sources can be everything from satellites to sensors located on your farm. Datahub gives you the framework to identify these data for what it really is. This gives you more flexibility and a higher set of options when deciding to go with Azure FarmBeats.

Accelerator

Yet again, this is another API that makes FarmBeats the best choice in the market. It can be built on the previous add-on (datahub) to help you visualize data in the form of charts and maps. You can view input data from various sensors in the form of charts using Accelerator. At the same time, you can view your farm and get a good idea of the sensor placement. It can also enable you to view the vegetation index on your farm.

Real-life use case of Azure FarmBeats

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Microsoft have partnered together to install FarmBeats on a 7000-acre farm in Maryland. Their idea is to use FarmBeats and get a higher yield, better quality with improved farming methods.

They use FarmBeats to collect data from different sources like sensors, tractors, drones, and satellite images of their farm. The data is then routed to Microsoft’s cloud server where it is organized and worked upon. With this data, they are able to make better decisions when it comes to their farming methods.

Here’s what the ESRI President, Jack Dangermond had to say about this

“Farmers will have a quicker and more innovative way to implement practices that directly benefit the climate. Moreover, the partnership will provide an avenue for them to cost-effectively bring new agriculture products to market based on good science, “

Verdict

Azure FarmBeats is a solution the world needs right now. Overpopulation is a real thing. So is the shortage of the supply of quality food. If we ever think about beating extreme food shortages in the future, solutions like FarmBeats will be mandatory to save the human race. With all that said, Azure FarmBeats will only accelerate the adaptation of technology in farming. It will make this world a better place to live in.