Smart Farming using IoT – IJERT (2023)

Smart Farming using IoT

Suresh N

Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering RMK Engineering College

RSM Nagar Kavaraipettai-601206.

Gummidipoondi Taluk. Thiruvallur district.

Abstract– We are all aware of the fact that there is an increasing need for agriculture due to the drastic increase in the population which occupies both land area and increases the demand for food products. So we cannot completely rely on the traditional method of farming which also has various limitations. Hence we opted for Indoor farming, which is a great success. This is an idea to reflect the picture of future farming. The Indoor farming is of two major types- Green House farming and Hydroponics. In both the cases, human power is required for monitoring the parameters and taking necessary actions. This idea is focused on reducing the workload and increasing the reliability of the system electronically. The advantage of this system is that the productivity is 2 to 3 times better, time taken is 2 to 3 times lesser and saves 70 to 80% of water compared to normal agriculture provided proper pH, NPK nutrient level, Light, Temperature, Humidity is maintained. The main objective of the proposed product is that it automates the system completely and we can have an advantage of remote monitoring, data logging for various purposes and remote control of the complete system using IoT. Defect identification and control is possible from anywhere in the world and anytime. This will make a great effect in the future farming using IoT.

Keywords Indoor farming; Hydroponics System; Arduino; Sensors; ESP8266; HID lights; ThingSpeak; Solar panel; Battery.

The optimum temperature and humidity are 25 to 35 degree C and 50 to 55% approximately for best yield. The light intensity should be between 450 and 650 nm in wavelength. Thus, these are the parameters most important under consideration in these systems. The Overview of both the systems is given below.

Fig. 1 Green House farming


    A. Indoor Farming

    (Video) SMART FARMING: IOT Based Smart Sensor Agriculture Stick for Live Temperature and Humidity Monitoring

    The general concept of working of greenhouse farming and hydroponics technology is almost similar, except from the case that in greenhouse farming the plants are grown in soil and in a closed glass house but in hydroponics, the plants are grown in the nutrient solution and not in the soil and placed anywhere. As mentioned earlier, the parameters such as pH, NPK nutrients, temperature, humidity, Light and level of liquids in the system should be maintained or regulated within the threshold limits for the better yield. The plants require a specific nutrients level to be dominant at one stage of its growth and for other stages, the nutrient composition changes. The optimum level of pH should be maintained between 5.5 and 6 in average.

    Fig. 2 Hydroponics System


    1. Arduino

      Arduino is a opensource platform used for building electronic products. It comprises of a ATMega328P Microcontroller with 6 analog and 14 digital I/O pins. It supports serial communication. It is a embedded development board with

      IDE(Integrated Development Environment) for coding. Coding can be either in Java, C or C++ language. The reason for the choice of arduino as the main board is its simplicity in size, low cost, more reliable and its wide range of compatibility with various sensors and interfacing devices.

      Fig. 3 Arduino

    2. Sensors used

    In this project the sensors used are Soil moisture sensor, Ultrasonic sensor, Level sensor, pH sensor, Light sensor, Humidity sensor and Temperature sensor (DHT11), Air Quality sensor and EC sensor.

    The soil moisture sensor is used in case of a Greenhouse farming to test the moisture level of the soil used. Ultrasonic sensor here, is used to measure the water level in the main tank and level of nutrient solution in the intermediate tank. Level sensor is used to measure the level of nutrient solution in the PVC arrangement. Light sensor is used to measure the intensity of light inside the system. Temperature and humidity sensor is used to measure temperature and humidity of the system environment. Ph sensor and EC sensor is to measure the ph and the amount of main nutrient levels such as NPK (Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorous) in the nutrient solution. The air quality sensor is an additional sensor for determining the quality of air in the system environment.

    Fig. 4 Sensors

    C .Other Accessories:

    (Video) Application of IoT and Machine Learning in Agriculture

    The other accessories includes the relay channel for making contact between higher voltage and lower voltage, a pump for pumping nutrient solution which usually be present in the system, HID lamp or Glow lights for lighting source, ventilation fan to maintain humidity and temperature, RTC (Real Time Clock) to make the system act or trigger a response based on the needs, and a mobile phone/tablet/computer to monitor and to establish a remote control of the overall system. 9V batteries are used to power the product. The most important hardware is the internet connectivity module. To make the product cheap, ESP8266 is used as a WiFi source.

    Fig. 5 Other accessories


    All the sensors and the Wifi module, ESB8266 is interfaced with Arduino to establish network connectivity. If the water level in the water tank is sensed less by the ultrasonic sensor, appropriate amount of water if filled to it. EC sensor senses the NPK levels in the intermediate and accordingly nutrients are pumped to exact levels to satisfy the plants needs. pH sensor measures the pH level of the intermediate tank and balances it by adding pH up solution or pH down solution according to the measured level. Once this is done, the level of nutrient solution in the PVC arrangement is sensed using level sensor and appropriate amount of water is pumped from the intermediate tank. This is regarding Hydroponics. In case of Greenhouse farming, the moisture level is sensed by soil moisture sensor and accordingly the nutrient solution is pumped to the system. Temperature and humidity sensor senses the temperature and humidity of the surroundings, if there is an increase in temperature or humidity, ventilation fans are turned on automatically to maintain it. Light sensor monitors the light intensity of the system and

    maintains this by the use of HID lights or glow lights which provides equivalent amount of sunlight energy even during night time. The plants require a specific nutrients level to be dominant at one stage of its growth and for other stages, the nutrient composition changes. RTC (Real time clock) is used as a reference for all the timings especially in determining the stage of growth of plants to shift the nutrient composition condition in the code. Since a variety of plants are used in these systems, number are switches are provided for selection of the type of plant so that a particular part of the code which is holding the plants threshold limit checks, gets executed and thereby eliminating the problem of usage of the system for one type of plant alone.

    What happens if the system has failed in automation and after few hours the plants gets spoiled? There comes an added and the most important concept of Internet of Things (IoT). All the sensors data are sent to the cloud service from which we can monitor all the data. The cloud services used for the prototype are ThingSpeak and Microsoft Azure because of their ease of use and security.

    Thus this is the overall automation with remote monitoring and control of the system which makes it more reliable and takes this to the concept of

    Smart Products.

    Fig. 6 Indoor Farmin Schematic Representation

    Solar Powering

    To make the system more reliable and to contribute to the environment safety, green energy is used for the complete operation of the system. A solar panel is used to convert the light energy into electrical energy. The charge controller is connected to the output of the panel which regulates the power and also acts as a switch to protect the battery from overcharging issues. Thus a battery gets charged and supplies the DC loads (HID lights). An inverter is used in case of AC loads (Ventilating fan, Pump).

    Fig. 7 Solar Powering Circuit

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    Work load is greatly reduced in both the systems because of full automation. The system can be monitored and controlled anytime and from anywhere using IoT. Data logging is done in order to identify which part of the system is malfunctioning based on the deviations from the previous data and hence it will be easier for defect detection which is a great advantage. System uses green energy, therefore there is no pollution. Error detection and remedy is easy. The most important advantage is the impressive cost effectiveness of the overall product. The product can be used for a number of crops and not limited by one. Hydroponics grows plants with 2 to 3 times of better quality, 2 to 3 times faster and saves around 70 to 80% of water when compared with traditional agriculture and hence the advancement made in this system will have a great effect in the market.


    Based on the proposed concept, a working prototype model was formed using the main board arduino. The sensors are connected to the general purpose input output pins(GPIO) of the main board. The connectivity module, ESP8266 requires a 3.3V supply from the arduino. Most of the sensors are analog except ultrasonic. The output trigger is always digital and this acts as an input for the relay. The main board and the relay is given a 5V supply. Supply from the solar powering circuit is connected to the relay to activate the pumps, HID lamps, Ventilating fans etc on reception of the output signal from the arduino which is generated based on the output of sensors. Thus this helps in automating the system by regulating the parameters under optimum level for better yield.

    Fig. 8 Prototype setup

    The following is the real time values of the sensors obtained at the Microsoft Azure dashboard. Creation of the dashboard is done with required amount of data logging parameters, six in this case. Coding is done in such a way that the ESP8266 establishes a link between the product and the Microsoft Azure Cloud service. Thus all the sensors values are obtained with time stamps as in SCADA. If we need a secured data logging, Microsoft Azure is good but it costs you for usage.

    Fig. 9 Microsoft Azure Dashboard

    The following is the real time values of sensors obtained at the ThingSpeak dashboard. This is the easiest of all cloud services. Creation and customization of the dashboard is very simple. An API key will be generated for the project and this will be used as a reference for the sharing of data through ESP8266. This cloud service is free of cost and more user- friendly.

    Fig. 10 ThingSpeak Dashboard

    The following is the additional feature of ThingSpeak. It is an a mobile android app version of ThingSpeak. It is available in Play store, once downloaded, it asks for API key and its done. All the datum will be available in your hand even if you are miles away from your system.

    Fig. 11 ThingView MobileApp Monitoring

    Even if the user is away from the system for several days, the system acts perfectly, that is the system is a perfect stand alone one and you can crosscheck if the system is working properly with your Laptop or Mobile phone and control it. If any of the parameters deviates from the threshold limits of defect range, it can be easily recognized that the particular part of the system is malfunctioning from the dashboard. Hence it can be taken care of and restored easily that is, defect identification of this big system and its rectification is very easy since every parameter has an individual monitoring. Thus, these are the two most important highlights of the product.

    (Video) Automated Hydroponics with Remote Monitoring and Control Using IoT


The traditional hydroponics setup for a 10×10 sq m will cost around 1 lakh rupees including the manual pH meter and manual Nutrient meters and other accessories excluding solar setup. But the setup alone will cost only 70 thousand rupees. But for my proposed product of same area, the cost is

TABLE 1: Cost Analysis of the product

Name of The Component

Price in Rs

Hydroponics Setup


Sensors (Ultrasonic, Light, DHT11, Level)


pH and EC meters


Solar Powering Circuit


Other Accessories


Relay, ESP8266




Thus, the overall products cost is less than the traditional one with many advantages like, complete automation, data logging, remote monitoring, remote control, and solar powering. The solar powering can be optional which brings down the products price greatly. The massive difference in the price is due to the pH and Nutrient meters that is provided with the traditional setup. In this product, a simple low cost sensor is used but it does not give the actual value. With greater calibration, calculations and conclusions, the accurate value is obtained with very minimal permissible error. This is the greatest effort in bringing down the cost of the product. I hope, this will be a good step forward in improvising the field of farming in the future.


I take this moment to extend my heartfelt gratitude to my department head Dr. Geetha Ramdoss for continuous support throughout the research. I would also like to thank MS Kavitha, Assistant professor who has helped me throughout the research period. I also thank my friends, Pratheema P, S. Ashwin, Ulava Veda Kashyap, Sathya Narayanan R, Suseendran A and other web community friends for valid contribution towards the idea. We also would like to thank our fellow students, faculties and industry personnel for their constructive feedback.


  1. Michael Margolis, Arduino Cookbook by O Reilly, Sebastopol, California, United States.

  2. Keith Roberto, How to Hydroponics-Fourth edition. Hobby Hydroponics by Dr. Howard M. Resh.

  3. Hydroponics Soilless Gardening by Richard E Nicholls.

  4. Greenhouse Gardener's Companion by Shane Smith (Author), Majorie Leggitt (Illustrator).


How is IoT used in smart farming? ›

IoT in agriculture uses robots, drones, remote sensors, and computer imaging combined with continuously progressing machine learning and analytical tools for monitoring crops, surveying, and mapping the fields, and providing data to farmers for rational farm management plans to save both time and money.

What is the real example of a smart farming devices in IoT? ›

Ubidots is an IoT platform that helps farmers to connect all their devices (weather station, irrigation system, soil moisture sensor, etc.) to the internet and manage them through a single dashboard. With the Ubidots IoT platform, farmers can: monitor in real-time the status of all their devices and equipment.

Is IoT applied in smart agriculture? ›

IoT based Smart Farming improves the entire Agriculture system by monitoring the field in real-time. With the help of sensors and interconnectivity, the Internet of Things in Agriculture has not only saved the time of the farmers but has also reduced the extravagant use of resources such as Water and Electricity.

What is smart farming PDF? ›

Smart farming (SF), based on the incorporation of information and communication technologies into machinery, equipment, and sensors in agricultural production systems, allows a large volume of data and information to be generated with progressive insertion of automation into the process.

What is the example of smart farming? ›

Example technologies used in smart agriculture are: Precision irrigation and precise plant nutrition. Climate management and control in greenhouses. Sensors – for the soil, water, light, moisture, for temperature management.

What is IoT in farming? ›

IoT (Internet of things) in an agricultural context refers to the use of sensors, cameras, and other devices to turn every element and action involved in farming into data.

What is IoT give 5 examples? ›

Dishwashers, refrigerators, smart TVs, smart watches, cars and trucks, heating and cooling systems, fitness machines and trackers are examples of IoT-enabled products with which you may have personal experience!

What are the benefits of smart farming? ›

Smart farming helps farmers to better understand the important factors such as water, topography, aspect, vegetation and soil types. This allows farmers to determine the best uses of scarce resources within their production environment and manage these in an environmentally and economically sustainable manner.

What is the concept of smart farming? ›

Smart farming is a management concept focused on providing the agricultural industry with the infrastructure to leverage advanced technology – including big data, the cloud and the internet of things (IoT) – for tracking, monitoring, automating and analyzing operations.

How IoT can benefit farmers in agriculture? ›

With the implementation of IoT in agriculture, processes are managed more effectively in the field. With the aid of sensors, for example, it is possible to monitor soil quality, humidity, temperature, automate the irrigation process, and others.

What are smart farming solutions? ›

Smart Farming systems uses modern technology to increase the quantity and quality of agricultural products. Livestock tracking and Geo fencing. Smart logistics and warehousing. Smart pest management. Smart Greenhouses.

How does IoT impact our lives in smart farming? ›

IoT in agriculture is designed to help farmers monitor vital information like humidity, air temperature and soil quality using remote sensors, and to improve yields, plan more efficient irrigation, and make harvest forecasts.

What are the 4 types of farming system? ›

Lowland Rice Farming System; Tree Crop Mixed Farming System; Temperate Mixed Farming System; and. Upland Intensive Mixed Farming System.

Which 3 types of farming are used? ›

The different types of farming are as follows: Dairy Farming. Commercial Farming. Plantation Farming.

What are four examples of farm technology? ›

Today's agriculture routinely uses sophisticated technologies such as robots, temperature and moisture sensors, aerial images, and GPS technology. These advanced devices and precision agriculture and robotic systems allow businesses to be more profitable, efficient, safer, and more environmentally friendly.

What are the best applications of the IoT in agriculture? ›

Applications of IoT in Agriculture
  • Precision Farming. ...
  • Agricultural Drones. ...
  • Livestock Monitoring. ...
  • Smart Greenhouses. ...
  • Monitor Climate Conditions. ...
  • Remote sensing. ...
  • Computer imaging.
22 Dec 2020

What are the 4 types of IoT? ›

4 Types Of IOT Networks
  • Cellular. Cellular networks use the same mobile networks as smartphones to allow IoT devices to communicate. ...
  • Local and Personal Area Networks (LAN/PAN) ...
  • Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) ...
  • Mesh Networks.
24 Mar 2020

What are the 10 real world example of IoT? ›

The IoT supports technologies such as cybersecurity, cloud computing, edge computing, mobile technology, machine-to-machine, 3D printing, advanced robotics, big data, the Internet of Things, RFID technology, and cognitive computing.

What are 5 IoT devices? ›

Smart Mobiles, smart refrigerators, smartwatches, smart fire alarms, smart door locks, smart bicycles, medical sensors, fitness trackers, smart security system, etc., are few examples of IoT products.

What are the challenges of smart farming? ›

The major challenges of smart agriculture include continuous monitoring, energy harvesting, automatic irrigation, and disease prediction (See Fig. 1) [14]. An important issue that arises in farming is the loss of crops to various diseases.

What is the conclusion of smart farming? ›

Smart farming reduces the ecological footprint of farming. Minimized or site-specific application of inputs, such as fertilizers and pesticides, in precision agriculture systems will mitigate leaching problems as well as the emission of greenhouse gases (6).

What are 5 benefits of agriculture? ›

', keep reading!
  • Farming is Good for Your Health. ...
  • Being a Farmer is Challenging and Stimulating Work. ...
  • It Provides a Source of Income in Rural Areas. ...
  • Farm Work Helps Develop Younger Generations. ...
  • Farming Can Help the Environment Thrive.
5 May 2022

How IoT can transform the agriculture farming sector? ›

IoT has the potential to transform the agriculture sector in many aspects like:
  • Data analytics: ...
  • Agricultural Drones. ...
  • Livestock tracking and geofencing. ...
  • Smart Greenhouses. ...
  • Predictive analytics for smart farming.

Why IoT big data & smart farming are the future of agriculture? ›

The Internet of Things is a huge opportunity for farmers to monitor their crops and increase productivity. Satellites, drones, wireless sensor networks, analytical farming devices systems, farm management systems, big data applied to the farm and food management chain are all examples of IoT and smart farming.

What is the purpose of smart farming? ›

Smart farming is a management concept focused on providing the agricultural industry with the infrastructure to leverage advanced technology – including big data, the cloud and the internet of things (IoT) – for tracking, monitoring, automating and analyzing operations.

How smart farming is useful? ›


Increased production: the optimisation of all the processes related to agriculture and livestock-rearing increases production rates. Water saving: weather forecasts and sensors that measure soil moisture mean watering only when necessary and for the right length of time.


1. Design And Development of Farmer Friendly Autonomous Agri-Bot with Soil Moisture and Light .....
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5. GSM Assisted Unmanned Farming Vehicle (UFV)
6. Controlled Environment for Aquaponic Farming with Various Grow Lights
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