Viewing posts categorised under: Agribusiness

ATVs Pose Safety Risks for Farmers

Posted October 18, 2017 by Administrator

ATVs are a popular method of transportation on farms. However, as their use increases, so do the number of related accidents and injuries. What is more, up to one-third of those incidents involve children. In 2014, ATV accidents represented almost 94,000 trips to the emergency room. These numbers have continued to rise in the intervening years. To reduce the likelihood of injury while using an ATV, farmers need to take several precautions.

ATV Precautions for Farm Safety

ATVs represent such a significant hazard for farmers for several reasons. For starters, family members tend to use them for recreation when the farmer does not need it for work. If a child wants to ride an ATV, the farmer needs to ensure the adolescent is on an appropriate sized ATV. When a child drives an adult-sized ATV, the risk of an accident skyrockets. In addition, any rider needs to equip the appropriate gear. This includes:

  • A helmet with a face shield OR appropriate goggles
  • Gloves
  • Boots
  • Long pants
  • A jacket or long-sleeved shirt

Farmers should also stress that ATVs should only have one rider at a time. Riding with more than one individual increases the likelihood of an accident. Another common source of accidents is riding ATVs on the road. ATV wheels are best suited to terrain, not pavement, gravel, or dirt.

ATVs and Liquid Tank Safety Precautions

Another issue to consider is if the ATV has a liquid tank. Many ATVs used for farming have such tanks to help with pesticide application. These tanks change the center of gravity for the ATV, making them easier to roll. The sloshing of liquids compounds this problem. Below are several recommendations to reduce risk while operating ATVs with liquid tanks:

  • Inform another farmhand or family member before using an ATV. Let the individual know how long you plan to be using the vehicle.
  • Equip the tank with internal baffles to diminish the likelihood of sloshing water.
  • Make slow turns to account for water movement inside the tank.
  • Survey the land beforehand to learn of any holes, large rocks, and other obstructions.

While ATVs have their uses on the farm, improper use can result in catastrophe. Farmers should familiarize themselves and anyone else operating an ATV on basic ATV safety to avoid accidents and injuries. To learn more about reducing risks and hazards on the farm, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

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FBI Warns Agricultural Industry about Increasing Cyber Risk

Posted October 11, 2017 by Administrator

In a Private Industry Notification (PIN) targeted to the agricultural industry, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Cyber Division warned the food and agriculture sector that it is increasingly becoming vulnerable to cyber attacks. As the adoption of technology and digital data increases in the farming community, cyber crime is on the rise. Smart farming practices, also known as the “Third Green Revolution” or “precision agriculture technology” has shown tremendous positive impacts on reducing the costs of farming and increasing crop yields. The report warns farmers to be aware of and understand the cyber risks associated with using modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and develop adequate cyber security and breach response strategies.

A Growing Threat

There is a growing threat of cyber targeting activity against the food and agriculture sector, warns the FBI. Cyber criminals are seeking to steal farm-level data in bulk. An example of how valuable this information is, government-authorized big data analytics are being used to aggregate farm-level data to track and even anticipate crop pricing and availability. Another target by cyber attackers could be to steal aggregate and/or analyzed data to exploit U.S. agriculture resources and market trends.

Other threats include:

  • Increased cyber targeting of farm-level data gathered by equipment that collects and analyzes data about soil content and past crop yields, including planting recommendations.
  • Cyber hacking of public worldwide climate and crop data used to design data visualization tools for farmers. Big data in agriculture is being used to help farmers make sustainable decisions that have an impact on food supply.
  • Susceptibility to ransomware and data destruction.
  • Drone manufacturers are focused on offering low pricing structures for farmers by using systems that are interoperable with networked devices with poor cyber security protections.

Challenges

Historically, the farming industry has lacked awareness of how to protect their data from cyber exploitation.

  • In a 2014 American Farm Bureau study of 3,400 farmers, almost half intended to invest in smart farming technologies in the next 2 years. However, 76% of the respondents expressed concerns that unauthorized individuals could hack their data and use it for commodity market speculation. Even more concerning is the finding that less than 5% of companies holding their data had a security breach response plan in place.
  • Drone manufacturers offering farmers recognize the demand for low pricing. They use interoperable data in order to keep costs low at the expense of more expensive analytics that protect against cyber attacks. Farmers have depended on drone RGB (red, green, blue) photography and thermography to monitor crop growth for the last decade. (CyberTrend, 2016.)

Recommendations

The report warns the food and agriculture industry to increase awareness of the cyber risks to farm-level data collected through precision technology and urges that farmers take the following precautionary measures:

  • Ask data management companies that store farm-level data to reveal their cyber security features and ensure adequate protections are in place.
  • Monitor employee logins, especially those that occur outside normal business hours.
  • Develop a centralized Information Technology email account that can be used to report suspicious logins, emails and other unusual activity
  • Provide ongoing training to remind and inform employees about current cyber security threats
  • Monitor outgoing data, and be ready to block unknown IP addresses
  • Monitor unusual traffic, especially from non-standard ports
  • Close unused ports
  • Create a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for remote login capability.

The FBI, in conjunction with the USDA, strongly urges members of the food and agriculture sector to refer to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team Website for additional cyber security information and resources.

Cline Wood is here to help farmers and agricultural-related businesses protect themselves against the growing risk of cyber crime. Contact us today to learn more about how our agribusiness insurance experts can help you be prepared in today’s changing environment.

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Five Tips for Agribusinesses to Combat White Mold

Posted October 4, 2017 by Administrator

Farmers face a variety of hurdles in order to cultivate a successful crop. White mold is just one of those obstacles. This fungus thrives in cool damp environments. Foggy and brisk mornings create the perfect conditions for white mold to take root.

At first, individuals may mistake the fungus as rat droppings. It presents as firm, black, asymmetrical-shaped forms; these are sclerotia. When the environment cools and the canopy closes, the growth produces tiny mushrooms. The fungus is most likely to take hold during flowering as spores land on dead flowers and invade the plant.

How to Deal with White Mold

By the time the fungus is noticeable, the infestation is two to four weeks old. Below are several tips farmers should keep in mind when dealing with white mold.

  1. No spray can stop the mold once it has taken root. Save time and money by allowing the mold to run its course. In general, white mold does not colonize from plant to plant. It is possible, but not typical.
  2. Farmers do not need to fear for their entire farm. A field must have sclerotia present in order for the fungus to grow. However, farmers will want to take note of any infected fields, as they will always have sclerotia after an infection.
  3. Farmers should harvest infected fields last. Sclerotia lodge themselves in all areas of combine harvesters, so farmers can inadvertently contaminate other fields if they harvest from infested fields first.
  4. Once harvesting is complete, farmers should avoid tilling infected fields. Surface level sclerotia will die off faster than those buried underground will.
  5. Farmers should also stay vigilant in their weed removal. White mold can take hold in a variety of plants, including weeds, legumes, and alfalfa. For future crops, farmers should consider wheat or corn for previously infected fields, as they are more resistant to the fungus.

Dealing with mold is never a fun task, but farmers who follow the above guidelines can keep future infestations to a minimum. Farmers can also protect their venture by investing in farming insurance. As the leading provider of agribusiness insurance, Cline Wood can help farmers identify and mitigate risks to their crops and fields. To learn more, contact us today.

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National Farm Safety and Health Week to Focus on Implementing Safety Practices

Posted September 13, 2017 by Administrator

Farming has always been a hazardous job with many risks not seen in other industries. Because of this, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a proclamation in 1944 to bring more attention to the plight of the everyday farmer. The goal of this proclamation was to reduce farming injuries as their steadily increasing numbers were hindering the war effort. That proclamation is now known as National Farm Safety Week. This year, National Farm Safety Week runs from September 17 through September 23.

In spite of this increased focus, agribusinesses represent one of the most dangerous industries in the country. For example, over 400 farmers and farmhands died from work-related accidents in 2015. While these numbers are grim, the farming industry is experiencing improvements in safety and decreases in injuries. To continue this trend, the National Farm and Safety Week theme is focusing on implementing safety best practices. Below is a summary of events for the week:

  • September 18: Tractor safety
  • September 19: Farmer health and wellbeing
  • September 20: Health and safety of children
  • September 21: Confined spaces
  • September 22: Rural thoroughfare safety

Below are some highlights of each segment to help farmers improve safety and reduce risks.

Tractor Safety

  • Tractors and transportation accidents are the most common cause of death on farms. Tractors rolling over represent a significant amount of these incidents. As such, farmers should make use of roll over protective structures (ROPS).
  • Relating to farm transportation, farmers should implement safety practices to reduce run over incidents and PTO entanglements as well.
  • Farmers should also avoid risky shortcuts. The potential time saved is not worth the risk. Maintain vehicles and fix mechanical issues to reduce the temptation to make use of a dangerous bypass.

Farmer Health

Many farmers experience health issues later in life. Some are hard of hearing while others may require oxygen. However, farmers can avoid many of these health concerns by wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes:

  • Respirators
  • Eye protection
  • Hearing Protection

Farmers should also look after their mental wellbeing in addition to their physical health. Isolation is a leading factor in depression so farmers should take their mental health seriously.

Health and Safety of Children

Each year, around 110 children and teenagers die from farming incidents. Causes range from machinery incidents to ATVs to drowning and more. This particular day will focus on creating areas that are safe for children to play as well as educating farmers on how to make farms safer for kids.

Confined Spaces

Farmers encounter hazardous gas and entrapment dangers when entering manure or grain pits. This particular day will focus on how to store and access grain as well as how to enter manure pits safely.

Rural Thoroughfare Safety

When farm vehicles and passenger vehicles collide, there are grievances on both sides. Instead of focusing on who is at fault, this day will concentrate on ways farmers and passengers alike can reduce the risk of an accident.

Cline Wood is dedicated to improving farm safety. As the leading provider of agribusiness insurance, we can help farmers identify and reduce risks. To learn more, contact us.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

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Three Tips to Reduce Farming Risks

Posted September 5, 2017 by Administrator

Many individuals use the term risk when discussing farming when they really mean uncertainty. Risks are measurable; farmers can calculate and prepare for them. Uncertainties are not quantifiable which means farmers cannot gauge them. While most people do not like to dwell on the negative, farmers cannot afford to ignore risks within their operation. Below are several risks that farmers can address and mitigate straightaway.

Clear Contingency Plans

No one likes to consider his or her mortality, but it is necessary to ensure farms continue to run smoothly during adverse events. Farmers need to make sure vital employees have a backup team in place. Backup employees can be existing staff members. These substitute workers should have all necessary skills to perform the job, so farmers may need to cross train these individuals. Contingency plans are not only in place for deaths. They allow farmers to leave the farm if needed without bringing business to a halt.

Family Feuds

Farms are often a family operation, but this presents challenges. Power struggles and secrecy plague family businesses. These issues are particularly damaging during a transfer of leadership. Almost all family businesses suffer from communication problems. Some examples include authoritarianism, refusing to accept blame, and ongoing disputes. Farmers can hire consultants who specialize in family businesses to address communication issues. Bringing in a third party will help keep emotions out of business discussions.

Victims of Success

While many business owners may think there is no such thing as too much success, farmers are at an increased risk of expanding at an unsustainable rate. Before taking advantage of a growth opportunity, farmers need to analyze the costs of their current operation as well as how much money they have in reserve. Farmers need to make sure they can bear the burden of increased costs while waiting for returns. They also need to address logistical elements. For example, if a farmer purchases new land two hours away from his or her home, he or she needs to determine who will manage it.

Farmers cannot remove every threat to their operation. Some are uncontrollable, such as the environment. However, several farming risks are manageable and farmers should take steps to confront them. Cline Wood can help farmers identify risks specific to their farms and suggest methods to managing them. To learn more, contact us today.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

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Safety Tips for Storing Fuel on the Farm

Posted August 18, 2017 by Administrator

Improper handling of gasoline or diesel fuel can result in explosions, fires, and injuries on farms. Farmers can reduce these risks by taking the proper safety precautions when storing and using fuel. Below are several simple safety measures farmers can follow.

  • Do not allow children near fuel.
  • Keep fuel storage containers far from buildings and structures on the farm.
  • Perform regular maintenance on fuel containers and address any corrosion or leaks.
  • Only store fuel in appropriate containers. Do not use containers meant for food or beverages.

Farmers and farmhands can avoid most fuel-related accidents by utilizing the above safety tips. However, there are other fuel-related hazards farmers need to address as well. These include the handling of flammable liquids, refueling equipment, and managing fuel storage.

Flammable Liquids

Gas, diesel fuel, and paint solvents are just some of the flammable liquids found on farms. Individuals need to take the following precautions when handling these kinds of liquids to avoid fire or explosions.

  • Store flammable liquids far away from uncontained fires or motors that spark.
  • Be cautious with empty containers that previously held a flammable liquid. Lingering vapors can still combust. Keep these containers away from fires and sparks as well.
  • Take pains to ensure all fuel containers have accurate labels and follow all directions for using the containers.

Refueling Tractors and Gas-Powered Equipment

Proper storage and transport of fuel are useless if there is a lapse in safety protocol when refueling. Farmers and farmhands need to exercise caution when refueling. Some safety recommendations for this process include:

  • Avoid spilling fuel on skin. It can cause irritation.
  • Avoid breathing in fumes as it can result in dizziness and headaches.
  • Turn off the engine and allow it to cool before refueling.
  • Dispense fuel slowly and avoid overfilling.
  • Refuel small equipment in the open. Refueling in a small enclosure can result in fume inhalation.

Fuel Storage

There are several safe storage solutions for farmers. For example, aboveground fuel tanks are cost effective, easy to relocate, and are unaffected by minor flooding. Below are some additional fuel storage safety suggestions.

  • Keep fuel storage containers and facilities out of direct sunlight. Farmers can either use canopies or make use of natural shade. If a farmer cannot avoid sun exposure, he or she can invest in a pressure-vacuum relief valve to minimize evaporation.
  • Keep fuel storage areas clear of trash and weeds to reduce the risk of fire.

While farms may present several hazards, farmers do not need to fall victim to them. Making use of the above safety tips will reduce the risk of explosions and fires. To learn more about protecting your farm, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

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ELD Exemption for Truckers Transporting Agricultural Goods

Posted August 10, 2017 by Administrator

Many fleets are busy ensuring their trucks are compliant with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) new electronic logging device (ELD) regulation. However, one sector of the trucking industry is at an impasse. Truckers that transport livestock or agricultural goods are under different time constraints than those who transport non-perishable cargo. It is not a simple matter of delivering goods on a certain timetable; the animals’ welfare and produces’ spoilage rate affect delivery as well.

Agricultural Exemption Specifications

To address these issues, the FMCSA granted certain exemptions to these truckers for one year. The FMCSA granted this extension in order to collaborate with producers to find a workable solution. The primary exemption is for truckers transporting livestock. They do not need to track their Hours of Service (HOS) with an ELD for the duration of the one-year delay. Current FMCSA HOS regulations encompass an 11-hour driving limit, a 14-hour on duty limit, and a 60-hour limit for the entire workweek.

The FMCSA granted drivers delivering agricultural commodities an exemption as well. If the trucker can conduct his or her hauls within 150 air miles, he or she does not need to log their driving time or mileage. However, once the driver goes beyond the 150 air mile zone, he or she must use their ELD and follow all HOS rules.

The FMCSA allowed these exemptions and one-year delay to avoid crippling the agriculture industry. The U.S. DOT agency plans to work with truckers transporting agricultural goods to draft new regulations tailored to their needs. Managing an agribusiness is difficult under the best of circumstances. This delay can help agricultural transporters stay in business while developing safety improvements. To stay up to date with the latest regulations affecting agribusinesses, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

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Hay and Straw Pose Major Fire Risks to Barns

Posted July 26, 2017 by Administrator

Most individuals look for water to put out a fire, but hay and straw are the exceptions to this rule. When hay and straw become too wet, they can increase in temperature and erupt into flames. While this is more common with hay than straw, the risk exists for both. This is because moisture causes the bacteria in hay and straw to release heat. If the bacteria dies, the bales will cool. However, if the bacteria gains a foothold, temperatures can soar over 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Store Wet Bales

Farmers should store their wet bales outdoors or in a large, open area. In addition, farmers should not stack wet bales as this prevents heat and moisture from leaving. It is important to note that hay often goes through a sweat period in the initial days after baling. Temperatures can increase up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit without causing concern.

Most Common Fire Risks

Several factors influence the combustibility of hay and straw. For example, hay is most like to catch on fire during the first six weeks after baling. Other factors include:

  • Fields with wet spots
  • Moisture levels exceeding 20%
  • Bales containing more than 20% of hay preservative

How to Monitor Wet Bales

Farmers with at-risk bales of hay or straw need to keep a close watch to avoid fires. They should check the bales two times per day for the first six weeks after baling or until temperatures return to stable levels. To obtain a proper temperature reading, farmers should probe the center of the bale or at least eight feet down into oversized bales.

Determining Critical Temperatures

Below is a list of temperatures and the necessary actions farmers should take to avoid a fire.

  • <125°–No immediate action
  • 150°–This is approaching the fire hazard zone. Monitor twice per day. Farmers can take bales apart to promote airflow.
  • 160°–This is the point of a fire hazard. Farmers should check bales every two hours and take bales apart. Farmers should recruit the fire department before unstacking additional bales.
  • 175°–Bales are likely to have hot pockets at this temperature. Farmers should inform the fire department of a potential incident. Farmers can also create a tight seal on barn doors to remove oxygen.
  • 190°–Farmers need the assistance of the fire department to remove overheated bales at these temperatures. Bales may burst into flame so farmers should wet down tractors.
  • >200°–A fire is likely at this temperature. In addition to the precautions above, farmers should have fire hose lines ready to go.

While taking preventative measures is key to avoiding barn fires, they can still happen. Farmers need to invest in insurance to protect their assets in the event of a barn fire. As a leading provider of agribusiness insurance, Cline Wood can help farmers identify and manage fire risks as well as discuss their insurance needs. Contact us to learn more.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

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Farm Safety: Identifying Hazards and Managing Risk

Posted July 12, 2017 by Administrator

Investing in insurance is a necessary precaution for farmers. But farmers can take additional steps to protect their investment. For example, avoiding accidents can help minimize injuries and reduce claims. Farmers need to be aware of common hazards, implement safety measures, and train workers to recognize potential threats. While all farms are different, below are some of the most common risks farmers face.

  • Pesticides and herbicides are commonplace on farms. However, failure to use these chemicals with proper precaution can result in burns, respiratory distress, and poisoning.
  • Animals on a farm can inflict several types of injuries. These include crushing, trampling, biting, kicking, and more. Animals can transfer diseases to humans as well such as giardia and ringworm.
  • Any machine with unprotected moving parts can cause injuries. Examples include chain saws and tractors without roll over protection structures (ROPS).
  • Small spaces. Enclosed, tight spaces pose suffocation and poisoning risks. Silos and manure pits, for example, can trap toxic vapors.
  • Drowning is a very real risk on farms. This is especially true for young children in particular. Any body of water, natural or manmade, poses a risk.
  • While most farmers consider weather to be a hazard to their crops, it can also deal out damage to humans as well. Exposure to the elements can result in sunburns, dehydration, hypothermia, and more.

Farmers can take several steps to reduce these risks. Performing regular visual assessments of the farm can help farmers identify potential hazards. Educating all farmhands on risks and best safety practices can reduce injuries. Storing dangerous equipment in a safe location as well as performing regular maintenance on machinery can prevent injuries as well.

As the leading provider of agribusiness insurance, Cline Wood can help farmers identify risks and improve safety. To learn more about farming safety, contact Cline Wood.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

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Smart Agriculture and the Internet of Things (IoT)

Posted June 5, 2017 by Administrator

With the combination of both advanced technologies in hardware and software, the Internet of Things (IoT) is able to track and count almost everything, which can greatly reduce waste, cost and loss for agriculture operations. The IoT will transform the agriculture industry by enabling farmers to find solutions to their challenges faster and more effectively. Innovative applications can be designed to address complex issues and therefore increase the quality, quantity, sustainability and effectiveness of crop production.

Here are some breakthrough examples where agricultural businesses are using the IoT in innovative ways:

  • A cutting-edge greenhouse operation uses the Waspmote Plug and Sense IoT Vertical Kit air quality application. Sensor probes are installed a various points to measure identified parameters. The system is programmed and connected to an XBee network with star topology. Two of the sensor modes send the extracted data to the central node at 15 minute intervals. The data is sent via 3G to a server and stored in an internal memory. The information is then visualized through its web interface. Users can take action by controlling the irrigation system through the web.
  • A farming operation is using the IoT to address its labor shortage. Limited by time, the farmers are unable to monitor and provide the required conditions for plants at certain times such as during the night or emergency conditions. To overcome the limitations of the irrigation system in conventional farming and maintain the crops in their optimum environment for growth in terms of soil moisture and temperature. The model of smart irrigation provides and maintains the optimum conditions for their crops. By growing their crops in an environment with sufficient water supply and ideal temperature, plant quality is improved and the productivity of the field is increased as well. Using electronic devices such as smartphones and remote computers, users can log into the Cloud storage to extract sensor data. Users can monitor the crops and control the water pumps and fans using the control panel of the user interface, which does not have to be located at the farm. Also, being able to supply the water directly to the root of the plant prevents weeds from growing, reducing the need for farm hands to help with weeding. Soil temperature also plays a major role in plant health. Being able to use sensors to measure the soil temperature and remotely switch on fans that will reduce overly heated soil will help keep roots moist and retain nutrients.
  • A small, urban farmer looking for a reliable, innovative solution worked with an IoT platform partner to develop a modular, scalable farm operation. Together, they designed a hydroponic farming model that operates inside of an atmospherically-controlled shipping container that allows for year-round growing to provide local, urban environments with produce 365 days a year. They use a connected product management tool to provide more usability and access in how they interact with the farm. A big advantage of the connectivity platform is in the data collection that indicates how well the freight farms are performing, including optimal conditions, various crops and best practices. The data is being used to help farmers proactively prevent problems and troubleshoot to improve quality control.

By providing and maintaining the ideal environment for the growth of crops using innovative applications of IoT, the productivity of crops can be increased and the goal of ensuring adequate food supplies to feed the estimated human population of 9 billion people by the year 2050 will be achieved.

 

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

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