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Smart farm agriculture precision technology concept. Silhouette of farmer , automation robot arm machine , uav drone , tractor truck and rice field background. Flare light effect.

“Cognitive computing in agriculture is going to be the most disruptive force in the industry, as big as the Green Revolution”

Rick Morris, IBM Smarter Agriculture Executive


We live in extremely exciting times. Sustaining more people with increased efficiency and at a lower cost than during any other period in human history, modern agriculture has evolved at an incredible and unprecedented rate. Despite this progress, we still face great challenges. Changing weather patterns, soil degradation and water scarcity are altering productivity in many agricultural regions around the world. At the same time, demand is increasing with the global population on its way to over 9 billion by 2050.

This rise in population will require a 40% increase in global food production. Growers around the globe are meeting this challenge, but they must do so in a manner that does not irreparably damage the planet’s resources. Global agriculture is valued at $5 trillion dollars, which represents 10% of global consumer spending, 40% of employment and 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. Researchers and entrepreneurs are continuously developing tools in the fields of plant genetics, chemistry, agronomics and machinery to meet this increasing demand. One of the latest innovations in agriculture is artificial intelligence. With drones, robotics, sensors, algorithms and machine learning, agriculture is quickly becoming digital. These digital resources we adopt enable us to easily collect vast amounts of data and truly optimize crop care strategies on a daily basis.


Precision Farming is Here to Disrupt Traditional Farming Practices


 Source: Bidness Etc (2017)


The latest revolution of the industry will be based on the use of cognitive technologies that help understand, learn, reason, interact and thus, increase efficiency. The adoption of high-speed variable rate planting equipment will provide accurate “as planted” information in real time. Yield monitors will supply granular information about production at harvest. Farmers will utilize sensors and soil sampling to gather data on soil moisture and nutrient levels across their fields. From mobile apps to unmanned aerial vehicles, these tools will collect data that can be used to assess crop health and monitor pest and disease conditions during the season. This fundamental information is key to building predictive algorithms that will help monitor crop conditions and identify water scarcity, plant population, and soil moisture levels. Essentially, these technologies will help secure our global food supply.

Abundant Robotics, from Stanford Research Institute, has developed technology to autonomously harvest firm fruits. Resson, a Monsanto Growth Ventures (MGV) portfolio company, has developed image recognition algorithms that can detect and classify plant pests and diseases more accurately than a trained human. Google, with the IEEE Computing Society, is working on AI algorithms to identify more than 5,000 species of plants and animals. Startups such as Orbital Insights, Descartes Labs, Gro Intelligence, and Tellus Labs are developing yield protection algorithms based on satellite imagery, weather information, and historical yield data. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are developing FarmView, a resource that uses AI to combine plant phenotype data with genetic and environmental data to help breeders and geneticists better understand the relationships between genetics, environment, and crop performance. Efficiency and productivity will increase in the next years as precision agriculture becomes smarter and more connected. By 2020, over 75 million agricultural IoT devices will be in use and the average farm will generate an average 4.1 million data points every day. This is up from 190,000 in 2014.


Future Farms: Smart and Sustainable


Source: Primal Group (2017)


Always determined to remain at the forefront of this new agricultural system, we at Primal Group have strengthened our fleet of drones and installed specialized software systems that collect, manage and analyze crop data in real time. With drones, robotics, sensors, algorithms and machine learning, the resources we have enable us to easily collect vast amounts of data and truly optimize crop care strategies on a daily basis. Enabling us to make the right decisions at the right time, these resources will strengthen the health and productivity of our crops.

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