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According to the WHO’s estimates, "Global agricultural production must increase by 70%, and double in developing countries by 2050 to meet the demand of 9 billion people." To meet this major challenge and with major climate changes, without new IoT technologies on farms it will be difficult to achieve such results. IoT applications on farms vary depending on livestock monitoring, weather conditions recording, diseases analyzes and watering optimization according to climate, soil, acidity, plant, etc.

How can IoT for a smarter agriculture provide solutions to societal and environmental issues? What are the connected objects practical cases used by breeders and farmers? 

Uses of IoT among farmers

Farmers mainly use connected objects for animal monitoring (cattle and poultry), from the slaughterhouse to the consumer's plate.

Why do farmers use IoT?

In slaughterhouses and among farmers, the Internet of Things provides several functions:

  • Transparency

The RFID tag is a tool for transparency and food safety. This technology provides consumers and retailers with unprecedented access to animal-related data. All they must do is scan the QR code associated with each product with a smartphone. Transparency is not only related to the products, the use of IoT increases the visibility and traceability of the different operations by ensuring a more precise follow-up of the production chain.

  • Food safety

Employees are alerted to anomalies in the production chain. As a result, farmers can alert shops or consumers so that they can quickly identify an animal that is not fit for consumption. The images and data gathered can be easily provided to veterinarians or NGOs for more accurate controlling.

  • Awareness raising

Staff awareness: Thanks to the video cameras installed on site, it’s possible to carry out more recurrent checking on the work carried out in the slaughterhouse. The company thus ensures that all killing conditions are respected and that there is no more animal suffering.

RFID Animal

UBI Solutions for farmers


UBI Food Supply Chain is the traceability solution for farmers. This product is based on two elements:

  • RFID traceability system.

  • Video surveillance system.

UBI Food Supply Chain was implemented in the Sénécal company, a poultry slaughterhouse. The breeder's need was to have a relevant traceability and video surveillance system, following the various food scandals of the last few years.

Our intervention’s objectives were to control production, inspection and shipping operations more efficiently and to offer greater data transparency. The client's poultry is now traced thanks to RFID tags and the installation of three cameras in the Sénécal premises to monitor animals slaughtering.

RFID traceability:

Complete solution: RFID tags associated with batches of poultry, readable with mobile and fixed readers. All this combined with UBI Cloud and UBI Manager, our software for collected data accessing.

Application in the Sénécal company:

  • Poultry and poultry batches tracking throughout the chain (including shipping).

  • Tags association with the producer's cloud for real-time production monitoring.

  • QR codes creation and implementation to optimize tracking stages for the customer, distributor and final consumer.

Video surveillance:

We installed a live video surveillance solution of the Sénécal producer's slaughter area, consisting of three cameras:

  • Camera n°1: checking the machines’ settings in the stunning room.

  • Camera n°2: working conditions control at the bleeding area.

  • Camera n°3: animals hanging supervision (no mistreatment, no suffering).

 An RFID tag installed at the beginning and end of the production line launches the corresponding camera.

▶️ To go further: see our Sénécal case study.

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IoT at farmers’ service

Based on the model of livestock farming, IoT solutions are now being used in a more global way to serve farmers.

What are the IoT solutions on the agricultural sector?

In agriculture, connected solutions take the form of sensors, mainly collecting environmental and mechanical data.

Application examples:

IoT Agricole

Smart weather stations (indoor or outdoor) to monitor weather conditions. Analysis of environmental data is used to select appropriate crops, monitor yields, etc.

Greenhouses’ automation: adjustment of lighting, temperature, monitoring of soil conditions, humidity levels, etc. In the context of precision agriculture, even more detailed data can be collected: CO2 levels, leaf condition, etc.

Agricultural drones: in addition to facilitating the surveillance of large areas, drones can carry out certain missions: sowing, spraying products to combat infections and pests, watering, etc. They can be ground or airborne.

What is the use of IoT on a farm?


The main objectives of a connected farm are to facilitate decision-making by farmers and to improve their working conditions:

  • Resource management and waste reduction: amount of fertilizer used, number of trips made by farm vehicles, more efficient use of resources such as water and electricity...

  • Farm management: remote monitoring of weather conditions and fields, regular data collection.

  • Productivity and yields optimization: tasks automation, irrigation optimization, easier maintenance of farm machinery, etc.

What is the impact of IoT on the agricultural sector?

The various benefits of IoT for livestock farming and agriculture address critical issues in the sector, on an economic, societal and environmental level.

Economic and societal challenges of smart agriculture

Agricultural IoT solutions
aim first and foremost to reduce the gap between food supply and demand, which is growing in the context of a growing world population. This is made possible by the analytical functionality and predictive power of new technologies, offering greater yields to farms.

Estimating the risk of product loss (disease, bad weather) saves significant costs for this sector, where a poor harvest has important economic consequences. Connectivity also improves the quality of food products. With increasingly stringent health standards, and a need to monitor the populations’ health, more accurate monitoring of food quality from the very beginning of production is required.

Connected agriculture also seems to be a potential answer to the decreasing agricultural labour force. The assistance of connected objects facilitates work and reduces the need for human resources. Connecting agricultural equipment also makes it easier to monitor tasks: maintenance, servicing, etc.

Finally, crop monitoring by drones and IoT cameras gives farmers a better chance of detecting diseases and pests quicklier. They have more reactivity, resulting in less wasted feed and treatments, and therefore lower costs. 

The IoT is thus an aid with interesting economic repercussions for farmers: an increase in the overall efficiency of their activity with a better turnover as a result.


Outils connectés

Environmental issues of smart farming

From an environmental point of view, connected agriculture also responds to various challenges:

  • Wasting and distribution of resources: crop prediction makes it possible to anticipate quantities. On the industrial model, IoT ensures the proper management of stocks in the agricultural sector.

  • Controlling the use of pesticides: the quantities of products spilled are precisely monitored. Regular reports can be collected by the institutions in charge of controls.

  • Fuel use: with reduced and optimized routes, fuel use can be reduced, which is beneficial for moderating gas emissions from the agricultural sector.

  • Countering natural resource depletion: Improving agricultural yields is an interesting response to the reduction of agricultural land and the depletion of natural resources, with fresh water being the most important.

Although IoT for agriculture is relevant in many aspects, questions remain. There is an initial cost for accessibility and installation, making these solutions more affordable for large farms in developed countries. If they are not supported by governments and communities, small producers would be disadvantaged compared to large groups. Connected objects also lead to a dependence on the use of the Internet and electricity, which must be continuously provided on farms. These issues will be central to the debate on the deployment of IoT for livestock and agriculture.


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Renaud Munier

Renaud Munier