Fresh? Juice? Paste? Canned? Stewed? Diced? Pureed? Sun Dried? Salsa? Sauce? Ketchup?
Rare is the cuisine that does not make use of the tomato in some way, shape, or form, and the resulting culinary popularity of the tomato has led to its proliferation in fields and farms around the world. While some may still argue whether the tomato is a fruit or a vegetable, few would argue that tomato crops are highly lucrative, attractive to farmers in both developing and developed countries and on large and small farms alike. In fact, for those crops with significant global volume and market share, tomatoes are the highest valued among those crops that lack an affiliation to mind-altering drugs.
But, the tomato can be a persnickety critter. The tomato doesn’t like it too hot, too chilly, too wet, too dry, or too fertile. Many don’t ripen at the same time. Most are easily bruised. And, the selective breeding that has yielded a larger, more attractive, and deep red tomato has also mercilessly drained much of the taste and flavor from a once sweet and delectable fruit.
Enter the world of sensors and modern sensing technology. The Internet of Things (IOT), when using well chosen, well networked, and well aggregated sensors, has shown tremendous potential to support precision agriculture, providing a more detailed picture of crops than was previously possible using conventional crop monitoring techniques. But, the stringent resources and tight profit margins that are a fact of life among many tomato growing operations, large and small, mean that sensor technologies must be chosen and used carefully.
There is no doubt that each sensor must earn its keep in producing the perfect tomato. With that in mind, this book explores key opportunities to marry the potential of sensors that are networked within the IOT to the needs of tomato production in ways that are economically fruitful, technologically robust, and sustainable overall.