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Big Data Shaping the Future of Ag Industry

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Big Data Shaping the Future of Ag Industry

Satellite imagery, drone images, soil sampling, yield monitors. I’m sure you can come up with more, but that’s just some of the technology taking over on the farm. What do all of these technologies produce? Data.

Bayer COO Brett Begemann said that years ago it was essential that students learn how to use Word and Excel to prepare for the “real world”. Now, he believes, “Today, when students come out of school, I would be urging them to figure out where they can get exposure to data science and analytics. I’m not asking them to become data scientists, but we’re getting so rich with data in all fields, including agriculture, they need to come out knowing how to use that data to draw insights. Whether it’s for marketing, helping producers drive more value on the farm, etcetera. It’s using data and in ways that we have not historically done because we didn’t have the data. Now we have it.”

Hoosier Kip Tom, nominee for ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, is known as having one of the most technologically advanced farm operations in the country. He says he knows that, as a farmer, he only has about 40 opportunities in this lifetime to produce a product, and data is critical to producing the best product.

“We continue to invest in different data systems and different hardware and software. We continue to have conversations with people outside of the ag space because, I think this is one of the problems, we always tend to look inside for solutions and the reality is there are some people who have already tried and tested, for instance, new sensors or new algorithms or maybe give us a different idea of what we should be looking at.”

Begemann agreed.

“One of the things that’s happening is, if you look back in history, when fields of study come together is where you see huge innovation. And today we see chemistry coming together with biology, and data science and analytics, and it’s all hitting at the same time. And when those come together there’s tremendous opportunity for innovation.

Begemann and Tom were panelists at the Forbes AgTech Summit in Indianapolis last month in a session titled, “Where We’re Headed: The Outlook for AgTech Innovation and Investment.” Clearly, big data is, and will continue to, play a big part in shaping the future of the ag industry.

Join us for opportunities to learn more about data collection and what to do with that data at the Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo Dec. 11-13 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. More info can be found at indianafarmexpo.com.