Big Data in Agriculture - A Complete Guide

Big Data in Agriculture - A Complete Guide
External Guest Writer
February 23, 2021

Big data has quickly become one of the most influential industries in the world today. In fact, the information generated from the big data has the potential to transform the future of numerous sectors. The current global value of the industry is estimated at 138.9 billion USD in 2020. It is, however, expected to grow up to 229.4 billion USD by 2025. 

The role of big data in agriculture can be extremely vital as well. There are numerous ways data is already driving the future of the agricultural sector, and we examine its complete scope in the article below.

What is Big Data in Agriculture?

Big data in the agriculture industry relies on the utilization of information, technology, and analytics in order to create useful data that can be utilized by farmers. Big data can be used to provide information for the agricultural industry as a whole, or it can help specific segments or locations with improving their efficiency.

In order to create this vital information, big data relies on data mining processes. Thanks to this methodology, it is now possible to discover important patterns in enormous data sets and condense this information into digestible segments. 

Various modern systems such as machine learning statistics, artificial intelligence, and database systems form the tools of big data mechanics.

How Can Big Data Help the Agriculture Industry?

Big data has a vital role in advancing the agriculture industry. The current pressures on this particular sector are immense due to the rise in global food shortages and unstable environments.

Big data analytics, IoT (internet of things) devices, and cloud computing can thus come into the fore, allowing farmers to make informed decisions about various elements of farming. 

IoT devices act as the first point of data collection as they mostly consist of sensors that are capable of picking up vital pieces of information. These sensors can be placed in various locations such as in the soil, fields, plants, and tractors, thereby allowing farmers to pick up information in real-time.

Data analytics tools can then be used to make sense of the immense data collected by the IoT devices. There is already plenty of preexisting data in the cloud that’s directly related to the field of agriculture. The newfound information can be integrated with the pre-existing data in order to create relevant models for the farmers.

Farmers can also utilize the data in order to understand, observe, and solve various specific issues in their farms. The overall purpose would remain to improve the operational efficiency of the farmers.

4 Different Ways Big Data is Transforming Agriculture

Big data holds the potential to radicalize the field of agriculture by eliminating all uncertainty and variables in the future. While the industry continues to affect agriculture in numerous and complex ways, we look at four of the biggest ways big data is transforming agriculture in the following sections.

Tackling the Environment

The entire productivity of farmers is closely tied into the environment and weather systems of their regions. Due to the ill-effects of global warming, the environment continues to throw numerous uncertainties in this department. Thus it’s become increasingly hard for farmers to deal with the many variables associated with farming today.

This is where big data showcases a real potential to shine. The utilization of various sensory and analytical tools allows farmers to closely monitor the conditions of their environment in real time. 

By monitoring such vital data points closely, farmers can stay one step ahead of their problems and better marshall their resources during times of trouble.

Precision farming methods allow farms to keep an eye on their soil and crop health round the clock remotely. Predictive analytical tools can also help them better prepare for the threat of diseases and pests, reducing the threat to their farms by a large degree.

Improving Innovation and Efficiency

Efficiency is the key when it comes to improving farming practices as the entire future of the world population depends on it. In order to achieve this, farmers need to be armed with important data points related to their crops and resources. Big data allows farmers to maximize their efficiency by providing vital cues. It also holds the potential to continually adapt to the challenges and offer insights every step of the way.

Minimizing Costs

When the efficiency of a farm and all its resources are improved, it has a direct and substantial impact on the costs incurred by the farmers. Big data can not only help farmers save money by improving efficiency, but it can also help them make more money by improving vital processes.

Improving Supply Chain Management

One of the most crucial areas where analytics is utilized is in supply chain management. This can be lengthy and complex chain featuring retails, stakeholders, and distributors. Analytical tools, however, can be used to better the process every step of the way of the supply chain, thereby having a resounding impact on our society as a whole.

The Future of Big Data Agriculture

The future of big data agriculture is indeed bright and full of potential. The agricultural big data analytics market alone is estimated to hit 1.4 billion USD by 2025, and this speaks highly of the interest being generated by the segment.

In order to step into this future, it’s important to improve the analytical capabilities of machine learning and artificial intelligence systems. Once these softwares are fine-tuned for big data analytics, there is no telling how enormous the impact could be on agriculture, smart farming, precision farming and the economy in general.

Data in the Future of Smart Farming

For the longest period in our history, our collective decisions have been made largely by instincts or our best estimates. The human species has never had the luxury of precision, and this is why big data has such an important role to play in agriculture.

By eliminating the variables and allowing farmers to stay one step ahead of their ecosystem, big data can ensure that farming will remain a stable and feasible line of work for farmers.