The escalating climate crisis is killing the yield of the world's most farmed crops, such as wheat and soybeans. Yield forecasts look dismal, the Environmental Health News writes—and that's an especially worrying proposition given that close to 2 billion experienced food insecurity in 2019, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. To feed a population that the United Nations estimates will reach 9.7 billion by 2050, the industry will have to use its resources—particularly its water, fertilizer and labor—more judiciously.
Current farming operations—such as tilling, planting, weeding and harvesting—are already executed at scale on industrial farms. But these processes too often run with a one-size-fits-all approach, leading to food waste. US farms alone waste 20 billion pounds of produce every year, according to Foodprint. IoT sensors, coupled with AI and machine learning algorithms, could fine-tune farming practices to optimize water and fertilizer use, harvest crops only when truly ready and squeeze more food out of every acre.
But harnessing the data from thousands of sensors will require faster networks with greater bandwidth. 5G can be the conduit the farm of the future needs.