The future of data driven agricultural technology

Post by
Saranya Barthe
The future of data driven agricultural technology

As an industry, we are currently facing a moment in time of unprecedented growth. The innovations that will emerge out of the next decade are vital not only to the sustainability of life on our planet but also the arability of our land. From soil censors to 5G connectivity to aerial data collection systems, these technologies all have the goal of making farming more efficient and effective in the long-term… but, what are the challenges that the agricultural tech sectors currently face?

One primary challenge is a lack of willingness to trial and adopt these new technologies.

With farmers still not completely sold on the premise of intangible technological machinery, it can be difficult for smaller start-ups and innovators to attract investors. The key indicator of success so far for change rests in the services’ ability to provide quantifiable and immediate results. For instance, quick and easy alerts to phones or AI compressed data analysis in the form of understandable value summaries.

Nonetheless, AgTech companies come up with the idea and speak of the benefits however the farmer is the main integrator of the product into their land. A lot of the time farmers do not have the resources or prior knowledge of how to operate such complicated IT systems. Therefore, it is important to re-frame our understanding of what the customer really needs! At its most basic principles, the farmer needs to see that the services being advertised can increase yield and reduce costs! So, it is important not only for companies to create services that are easy to utilise but also show a direct cause and effect to prove the viability of the product in the long-term.

What we are seeing today is a large influx of companies utilising satellite and drone imagery that drive data analytical models. Pioneers in this field are beginning to advertise customisable functions to their interface systems such as detection of weeds and insights into locally specific weather forecasting for distinctive areas of land. Cropsafe is at the forefront of this innovation to aid in the processes of enhanced precision farming of the future. Alongside projects like Microsoft’s FarmBeat, Cropsafe anticipates adding to this vision of making optimising the return of goods whilst also preserving resources a more tangible and accessible route for farmers across the world.