New Perspectives on the Farm

How Data Reveals Endless Opportunities for Optimization

Woman in field using Tablet
Peter Drucker
If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.
— Peter Drucker
,
Austrian Management Theorist

Data. It’s more than an abstract concept—it’s the currency by which we can all accomplish more. Though it may not seem like it on first glance, farms are teeming with it. And now, it’s easier than ever for farmers to harness these insights to see their farm—and their potential—in new light.

 

Agriculture is going digital. What used to be measured in acres, bushels, gallons, and tons is now quantified on a considerably smaller scale—down to single seeds and individual raindrops. As a result, these incredibly detailed measurements are enabling farmers to optimize resources, save money, and reduce agriculture’s environmental impact. 

Farmer inspecting content displayed on tablet

Turning data into actionable insights

Farmers already know their fields. It’s a relationship built over generations and countless days of interacting directly with the land. Data simply deepens that understanding. In fact, many of the tiny, incremental breakthroughs in digital technology are making a massive difference for farms around the world to cultivate crops more efficiently, streamline the workload, and earn more for their effort. 

 

Precision pays off

When farmers can see exactly what’s happening in their fields, they can make informed decisions that benefit their bottom line. But many of the most important insights on the farm are beyond the limits of human perception and ability—until now. Automated technologies such as remote viewing help farmers to be everywhere at once, without having to walk a single row. Digital tools such as Climate FieldView™ make it easier than ever for farmers to remotely gather and analyze their farm's data in a single place. Additionally, this frees farmers from having to manually gather and analyze their in-field insights so they can make better use of their time. Most important of all, innovations like these are empowering farmers to unearth important information that is otherwise invisible to the naked eye, such as microscopic nutrient exchanges beneath the soil.

Monitoring on a microscopic scale

Through digital innovation, plant scientists have devised unprecedented technologies for farmers to understand exactly what their plants need, when, and in what amount. In particular, in-field soil sensors capture extremely sensitive data including detailed measurements of nitrogen, phosphorus, water and other organic matter beneath the soil’s surface. By helping farmers see into the earth, these innovations offer real-time insights to keep crops and the surrounding environment healthy.

 

Every drop counts

+20% more income
With in-field soil sensors alone, farmers can monitor and manage their water resources in ways that increase their overall average net income by almost 20%.

Eyes in the sky

Perspective is everything, which is why many farmers are finding incredible value in viewing their fields from space. Leveraging advancements in satellite imagery, farmers are able to get a detailed bird’s eye view of how their crops are performing, from identifying crop pests to monitoring moisture levels—all from space. Similarly, many farmers are using drones equipped with spectral imaging technology that overlay different visual wavelengths in order to increase the amount of insight they can glean from the sky:

Different Perspectives Unearth New Insight. Visual wavelenghts (what the eye can see) lend farmers and aerial perspective to identify different pressures or challenges in the field. 3D Maps. Immersive, data-informed virtual reality renderings of a field in 3D help farmers identify topographical anomalies that can affect productivity. Multi-spectral imaging. Measuring light wavelengths beyond human perception allow specific pressures to be diagnosed based on leaf readings and custom algorithms.

Looking to the horizon

The more farmers know, the better. With digital technologies improving and becoming more accessible every day, it’s easier than ever for farmers to benefit from the data their fields already produce. And while these unprecedented insights are already making a positive impact for farms around the world, it’s only the beginning. We’re working directly with farmers, data scientists and other experts to continually refine the solutions we have—and pursue entirely new opportunities we have yet to imagine.