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  3. > Agriculture and Big Data: Will Big Data technologies be the next big leap for industrialized agriculture

Introduction

Some of the very biggest agriculture firms have been offering services based on Big Data technologies in recent years. The principle process is to use Big Data collection to make farming more efficient and ultimately making each field yield more crops with less inputs. Some big claims are being made about this type of technology, with some suggesting 10-15% gains in farm efficiency are possible.

Features and benefits

* Learn what techniques are used to implement Big Data and why so many industries and companies are trying to implement it's lessons.
* Establish what the offerings are from the Big Agriculture companies and learn how they work.
* Find out what benefits the technology has for farming and food production as a whole.
* learn what risks there are within the industry and what negatives might there be to collecting all this data.
* There is a broader reason why companies are using big data techniques and usually the primary purpose, hides a more useful secondary one.

Highlights

Saving money and increasing production is the absolute priority in western agriculture currently to cater for growing populations, providing affordable food and making the most of the finite land and resources available. In order to do this, farming has had to become efficient and precise and Big Data techniques support this process.
Big Data is essentially a tool to provide “precision agriculture” which is a way of tailoring farmers’ decisions to the situation presented in front of them. A wide range of companies across the agriculture sector are using Big Data but largely the intended end game is the same with savings being immediate and decisions on the farm driven by facts.
A primary concern with the collection of Big Data sets is whether one can trust the organization that is collecting the data to use it fairly and morally as it represents a huge asset and can hold personal and important information. In the case of the farmer, this would be his or her personal success in the field and individual trade secrets.

Your key questions answered

* What is Big Data and why is it being used in a number of industries?
* How does Big Data affect farming and what can it do to improve farming efficiency?
* Who is offering big data products to farmers, and why are they offering it?
* Is there any early evidence to suggest that Big Data techniques in farming could increase the global food output?
* Just how safe is it to collect so much data and is there a risk?

Table Of Contents

Agriculture and Big Data: Will Big Data technologies be the next big leap for industrialized agriculture
OVERVIEW
Catalyst
Summary
WHAT IS BIG DATA AND HOW IS IT USEFUL
Big Data sets organize information on a huge scale
Hadoop systems provide speed and protection against failure
Who is using Big Data in other industries and why
EFFICIENCY IS THE MAIN AGRICULTURAL TREND
Agriculture industry needs to find ways to produce more
Big Data has arisen from the agricultural efficiency trend
TYPES OF PRODUCTS COMING ON THE MARKET
Monsanto uses Big Data to enhance its expertise in seed traits
Monsanto's Field Scripts program analyses a harvest
Climate Corp could be Monsanto's key ingredient
Key agricultural terms and variables that Monsanto inputs
Plant Population
Hybrid matches
Yield environment
Big Data is agriculture's form of precise advertising
John Deere uses Big Data to streamline its equipment
Field Connect is a probe that sends real time field data to be analyzed
John Deere Documentation and Green Star allows in depth planning
John Deere farms sight syncs each machine to another
THE TECHNOLOGY IS BEING PROVEN IN THE FIELD
Positives and negatives have been seen in some early analysis
It has been seen that farmers can test the claims of products
More efficient use of seeds, fertilizer and pesticides
BIG DATA IS A TROUBLING CONCEPT TO SOME
Data getting into the wrong hands happens regularly
There are no guarantees that this data would be used ethically
An issue of trust remains over why should data be given away
Poverty in some markets, presents problems and opportunities
Climate change will make Big Data farming irrelevant
CONCLUSIONS
Not enough is known to say Big Data will definitively help
What developments will we see and what should customers do
APPENDIX
Sources
Further Reading
Definitions
Ask the analyst
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