Friday, 19 June 2015

Farm Level Approach to Precision Agriculture

Example of precision agriculture technology from Farmer's Edge.

To listen to the interview from Real Agriculture, please follow this link.

We came across and want to share this article and interview as it touches on the importance of Big Data in agriculture and, in an indirect way, the importance for rural broadband internet. Agronomists Wade Barnes and Curtis MacKinnon, co-founders of Farmer's Edge, understand the need to collect Big Data and use that information to aid agriculturalist experts and farmers in making informed decisions.
“I’m a huge believer in how big data can make big changes in agriculture. Our goal is to create the big data so we can do analytics and make those changes.” - Wade Barnes
The focus of Farmer's Edge and the use of Big Data is placed on the individual farmers, not corporations or analytic firms. The data needs to be able to have relevance to the farmer. When farmers can use the data to make positive, informed decisions that help their bottom line, adoption of precision agriculture technologies can spread further.

The obstacle that stands in the way of effective collection and analysis of this Big Data is in being able to transmit the data. Many rural agricultural communities that do not have adequate internet connections will not be able to fully participate is this new age of Big Data. Barnes & MacKinnon are all too aware of the economic advantage of accurate analysis of data and how that can help farmers. Access to broadband and fibre internet speeds in rural areas is essential to the widespread adoption of technological advantages, such as the tools from Farmer's Edge, that many can benefit from.

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