Agriculture Data Collection Technology Improving but Still Siloed

All levels of agriculture rely on data and the need for data continues to grow. Technology to collect that data has been improving at a rapid pace, especially in the last five years, but interoperability continues to be an issue. Unanalyzed and unapplied silos of data are barriers the agriculture industry must overcome as it moves forward. Insights are crucial throughout the food production chain. 

Most machinery from tractors, planters, sprayers and combines to drones and satellites, collect and deliver information to growers, retailers, and companies. But how are they aggregating the data, analyzing, or applying it?  

No silver bullet or easy button exists to transform a bunch of spreadsheet cells into a path forward. Tremendous value exists in the data collected from satellites and drones, but that data becomes a real asset when proper and informed analysis is applied and connected.  

      • What does the data say?  
      • What does that mean?  
      • What now? 
      • And how does this fit in with other sectors and systems? 
Proper evaluation and analysis of data is crucial for growers.

In fact, the industry could see an additional $500 billion in added value to the global gross domestic product by 2030 if digital connectivity can be implemented successfully, according to McKinsey research.  

Each piece of data from every source paints part of a picture, and all those pieces are important. But it takes proper evaluation and analysis to bring it all together to see the whole picture and understand the story. Viewing the production system as a whole and properly positioning products into it also will help farmers leverage their own data.  

It All Needs to Work Together  

In each data area, service providers are numerous, so regular evaluation of those providers is extremely important to ensure the highest quality data and the potential connectivity to ease the burden of siloed information. The less interoperability, the more resources are required to merge data into useful analysis that builds an accurate product story. That product story is essential as new products are commercialized, or as veteran products are introduced into new markets.  

Playing the Long Game 

Collecting enough data for a thorough product evaluation is a long game that requires an informed analysis of that data to deliver an accurate predictable picture. Just as production systems evolve over many years, the development of new inputs, new methods and new measuring tools are evolving. 

The complex and independent nature of producers is currently mirrored by the technology developers who also have remained independent suppliers without a common platform for connectivity. The barriers of interoperability are the next challenges to overcome. 

A different strategy will go a long way for companies in the next decade. Agriculture is going to continue to see massive changes. Farms are transitioning to the next generation while technology continually advances at a swift rate. Relationships and trust will continue to be king, but the nature of the relationships will evolve. As agricultural production output and methods gain increasing scrutiny and pressure, the businesses will adapt. What was a relationship built on friendships, going to church together, and local connections will become relationships built on trust in the analysis and recommendations based on solid, well-analyzed data. Companies can capitalize on the evolution by: 

      • Using scientific-backed data that goes beyond just yield 
      • Thinking creatively about how products can be used within the real systems farmers rely on 
      • Providing the support farmers need to transfer that technology to the farm gate 

Bringing in a partner like AgriThority® certainly can stimulate your analysis process and become an integral extension of the team to accelerate the path to commercialization. Contact our team today.

Forward-thinking agriculture experts with deep scientific experience are the core of AgriThority®. As an independent global science consultancy, we focus on exploring potential, expanding market access and evolving production for greater food security and sustainability. When your Research is ready for Development, turn to AgriThority for scientific businessmarket and product expertise.