Big Data Set To Revolutionise The Agricultural Industry

4 July 2016

Big Data is everywhere at the moment and according to Jonathan Dyer, farmers across the globe will soon be utilising its benefits on a daily basis.

 

So what is Big Data?

There are varying definitions of what Big Data is, and quite rightly. I like this one from the Tech Target website.

“Big data is an evolving term that describes any voluminous amount of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data that has the potential to be mined for information.” – Margaret Rouse

Margaret is right. Big Data is an evolving term. When it was first defined very few would have anticipated it to be utilised by farmers. Simply put Big Data is a lot of data that can be used to draw conclusions upon and aid the decision-making process. This is exactly what farms will be doing soon it seems.

Speaking to ABC, Nuffield Scholar Jonathan Dyer said when new technological platforms take off in the near future, big data from across the industry will help farmers make important decisions, including how and where they plant or fertilise.

“We [farmers] deal with the natural world in all its infinite complexity,” he said.

“To understand that, we can collect data on farm, whether it is yield data from our crops, seeding or fertilising.

“If you collect enough of it, you can start to analyse it just in your farm office.

“To a lot of farmers, that is probably big data, because that’s a concept they’ve not been used to.

“But you can take that principle and keep getting wider and wider out. Then you can compare with five or six neighbours and compare how your crops are performing and start to learn that way,” Mr Dyer said.

“And then it goes all the way through to the companies in the United States that are aggregating farm data across millions of acres and looking at yield trends and predicting yields for the [United States Department of Agriculture.]

“Probably for us farmers, it starts on farm, but [the question is] how big do you want to take it?”

What does it mean?

You might be thinking ‘I’m not in the agricultural industry, this means nothing to me’ but it does. The introduction of Big Data into the Agricultural industry is not a one off. Big Data is making its way into hundreds of industries and its relevance in the modern world is increasing. That makes Big Data one of the best areas for you to start or continue learning about. There’s no better place than the Bodhi ‘Industry Insight‘ section to do that, so make sure you’ve subscribed to us.

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