Has ‘big data’ lived up to its promise to revolutionize farming?


For farmers—and the tech companies that want them as customers—data has been a disappointment.

A few years ago, the agricultural world was full of promises about how the widespread use of data was going to change farming. Companies sprang up that offered to collect huge amounts of information about everything from weather patterns to the soil on farms to the health of crops. The sales pitch: With all this detailed information, farmers would get untold insights into what was happening on their land. And they could use that information to boost production.

But the revolution has been slow to catch on. Many farmers who used the digital services found it difficult to digest the mountains of information and figure out how to put it to use. Many others simply weren’t sold on the idea, or couldn’t afford the investment as crop prices fell.

This has changed the outlook to the point where venture capitalists, who drove much of the investment into data-based farming, are approaching agriculture in a different way. Instead of betting on legions of companies that provide farmers information, they’re now pumping money into companies that offer tools and services, such as robotic farm equipment, or on biotechnology and genetic editing of plants, that bring faster and more obvious results.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Why Big Data Hasn’t Yet Made a Dent on Farms