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Digital Twins in agriculture
8 mins read |

The widespread benefits of the Internet of things (IoT) do not end with the health, manufacturing, automotive, aerospace and aviation industry alone; the agricultural sector is not left out. IoT has revitalized the way things are done in the agricultural sector by creating environmentally sustainable operations, transforming ideas and bringing new opportunities at an unimagined scale.

Thanks to the impact of digital twins in farming, low yield and productivity, the spread of pests and diseases and unsustainability have become things in the past.

How do digital twins mitigate these rooted problems associated with agriculture? To answer these questions, let’s find out the meaning of digital twins and why it is introduced to the agricultural sector?

The high complexity of field-based processes in agricultural crop production places considerable demands on the development of robust technologies about the variability of the plants, the soil, the technologies, the environment and numerous disturbance variables.

Simulations of specific aspects have supported these developments for many years. A holistic simulation of the agricultural process – a “digital twin” so to speak – with the integration of as many of the listed influencing variables as possible has considerable potential.

In particular, the influence of individual variables on the overall process can be used for error analysis, service or new developments.

What is Digital Twinning or Digital Twins?

Digital twins are the virtual replica of a real-life asset (whether material or immaterial) created to test, predict and understand the behavior of its physical counterparts.

Digital twin in agriculture represent real objects where historical objects can be reproduced and future objects simulated to create scenarios for farmers to act on.

It empowers farmers and stakeholders to deal with unexpected deviations, for example by identifying problems in advance, scheduling predictive maintenance at the right time and providing instant solutions for compounding problems. Digital Twins speeds up the agricultural business from production to marketing and sales.

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How is this possible?

For example, let’s say crop production is affected by pests and diseases in a region. By adopting it, you can gather quality information human senses can’t observe through a mobile app that works as a digital counterpart using sensors and satellite data.

You can then provide images of affected plants and describe the problem, then compare these images with the replica of that exact plant and provide solutions. That’s simply how digital twins work.

Conditions required for digital twin in agriculture

1. Individuality

The digital twin in agriculture has to be specific, with a specific name given as opposed to the general name of goat or cat.

Conditions required for digital twin in agriculture

2. Near Real-Time

This means for as long as the real-time exist the twin should also exist

3. Data-Informed

It has to be digitally measured, with the same instrument for the real sample.

4. Realistic and Actionable

The digital twin in agriculture has to be close to the real thing in properties and form. It has to be realistic.

5. Actionable

Information regarding the real thing should be action bound.

How it works?

It utilizes technological equipment such as sensors, satellites, and other devices to monitor the digital twin. With this information gotten historical data can access when needed and is required to make plans.

It involves the overall process of the digital is not necessary to be a fancy arrangement, it is only required to get them done at the right time it just has to be scientific realistic.

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How They are Different From Models?

Models are just a representation of a particular thing, unlike digital twins the models are not only a representation but are also incorporated in the process of the real thing for a measurable output. Most models often give wrong results. When they are combined they also give false reports.

They are used for specific purposes. Their result can be seen in terms of dozens. This is to ensure the reliability of the results. They ensure the user is protected from the complicated technicalities by presenting information in a way that is easy to understand. It should present the status updates on the real thing.

How To Interact with digital twins?

It is monitored on the devices such as laptops, tablets or phones. It makes it easy for you to access the history or predict the future of the real thing. You can also work with the system to switch on physical systems like irrigation.

The inner functionality of the digital twin in agriculture is hidden and the user does not need to understand the complexities. It only exposes the user to what is required in physical dealing. Although features that can not be assessed in normal dealing are added.

Where am I likely to see digital twins in agriculture?

The use of the digital twin has already taken off. It is used in the monitoring of livestock both physically and remotely. Field monitoring system ensures the report of field state and crops for better and informed management decisions. The remote monitoring system reports the state of farm machinery like a planter, tractor, sprayer, etc. For early detection and pre-emotion of faults.

The real-world thing is modeled realistically and life reports have meaning on the state of the system. It has some limitations, the thing monitored can only be checked for a single aspect of the thing. It is used in other industries but it is used in Agriculture to cover several properties because of the diversity in the farm.

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Before the technological age, research and development were carried out to understand and anticipate plants’ behavior to combat major agricultural problems which are the spread of pests and diseases and low productivity. Due to the use of crude tools, the research outcome was unverified and the results were unreliable. Hence, the problems persisted.

Then, agriculturists had no other way of experimenting with plants behavior except by trial and error method resulting in abundant loss of resources and time. To end these farming mysteries, digital twins in farming were introduced to give a detailed understanding of plant and animal behaviors to improve farming efficiencies. Those most enthusiastic about the technological revolution expect that agricultural operations will experience substantial benefits through these advances.

So, no one can understand your physical land better than you do…and data science. And GeoPard in that case is a useful Platform for Growers that helps to:

  • Collect technical data insights via remote sensing, soil sampling , sensors, topography , etc.
  • Have any minute field access with satellite monitoring and crop rotation data.
  • Manage your data even when offline with the app.
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