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Farming Smarter with Big Data

US colossus Monsanto paid just shy of US$1 billion for a company called Climate Corporation. In doing so, it signalled “big data” as the next era of agribusiness

A basic description of Climate Corp is that it analyses data to help farmers lock in management plans, insurance and profit.

It’s how Climate Corp does this that interests Andrea Koch of the United States Studies Centre, and co-ordinator of the upcoming conference, Soil and Big Data.

Started by ex-Google employees, Climate Corp provides “field level” information, simultaneously tracking metrics like nitrogen levels, soil hydrology and weather to deliver forecasts of field performance.

It links soil probes with radar, satellites and a network of 10,000 automated weather stations to provide its guidance. Climate Corp is thus an agricultural precursor of the “internet of things” - the fast-approaching time when many different things - vehicles, fridges, livestock, soil probes, watches - will be digitally connected in order to provide meaningful data.

Andrea Koch, who leads the US Studies Centre’s Soil Carbon Initiative, has put together the Soil and Big Data conference on June 25 to explore the opportunities and threats of this next phase of digital evolution.

Climate Corp’s Stategy and Operations Leader, Pradip Das, is one of the speakers at the conference.

Source: Queensland Country Life

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