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What Is the Importance of Big Data to the Agricultural Industry?

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Big Data has a vast scope in agriculture as it allows for real-time data collection and physical tracking. It also enables farmers to forecast scenarios that can allow them to improve future farming practices. The significance of Big Data to the agriculture industry cannot be understated as it has transformed one of the oldest human activities in the world. The agriculture industry driven by Big Data has the potential to solve global issues, particularly in places where farming activities are the primary mean of survival.

Big Data and Agriculture

The world's total population is increasing daily and is expected to reach 9.9 billion by the year 2050. To counter the challenges and pressures of this surge in demand for agricultural goods, people in the agricultural industry are looking for ways to incorporate technology such as Big Data, cloud computing etc., into their processes. This is being done to improve efficiency and help them derive patterns from large amounts of data for future forecasting.

The patterns and insights collected can be used to detect inefficiencies in farming practices, predict the impact of weather changes on the crop's health and formulate algorithms that can alert users before the problem has even occurred. With the help of data analytic software, farmers are now integrating data collected from different sources to determine prices.

Let's dig in deeper and look at some of how Big Data is significant to the agriculture industry:

9 Reasons Why Big Data is Important to the Agricultural Industry

1.      Big Data Improves Productivity and Operation in Farms

Big data plays a vital role in improving farming productivity as it allows crop production forecasting and improvement of Crop Yields. It enables farmers to make intelligent business decisions. Businesses and farms in the agriculture sector are as sensitive to market price fluctuations as any other industry. Big data allows people to use key performance indicators to track their increasing or decreasing costs and revenues. The continuous inflow of data allows for timely action to be taken to achieve an increase in productivity and profits.

2.      Allows for Open Data Sharing

The agriculture sector is currently faced with massive data gaps. A global information system is one of the biggest emerging trends brought about by the presence of big data. This system allows people to share large amounts of real-time data, creating multiple opportunities for innovations in agriculture. Investments in data exchange enable farmers to make informed choices. They also benefit from a democratised information system where information is transparent, readily available, disaggregated and easily transferable.

3.      It has Reduced the Wastage of Food on a Global Level

Around 30 per cent of the food is lost or wasted in various supply chain stages. To maintain sustainable growth, this wastage of food needs to be minimised. Big data is the key to reducing wastage of food as it allows for collecting data on stores and other parts of the supply chain to detect where and why the wastage is taking place. It can also analyse consumer demand for food to produce optimal inventory levels.

4.      Allows Farmers to Optimise Farm Equipment

Farming equipment and machinery can be integrated with sensors that detect and record essential data related to the number of unoccupied tractors, fuel levels and service due date reminders. These sensors can also be used to control the machinery remotely. Data applications can further process and analyse the received information, which can be used to make essential decisions that can help to optimise farming equipment.

5.      Improves Supply Chain Management

The supply and demand gap between producers and the market can be filled by tracking down the number of food delivery trucks and their routes. This helps to eliminate any food wastage that is likely to occur in the absence of the use of big data.

6.      Allows for the Administration of Pesticide Usage

Big data provides farmers integral instructions relating to safe quantities and appropriate timings for pesticide application. As a result, they can manage their expenses better by cutting expenses due to excessive pesticide usage while also avoiding the potential health risks.

7.      It is Essential to Cater to the Needs of a Growing Population

A rapidly growing global population has presented the most pressing problem of an exponential rise in food demand. In order for food requirements to be fulfilled, it is imperative that measures be taken to increase that per acre crop yield and the use of big data in agriculture can provide essential information on climate patterns, fertiliser requirements and soil moisture levels. Furthermore, intelligent measures can be taken to procure improved, disease-resistant seed varieties that further contribute to higher crop yields.

8.      It Also Holds Great Significance in Food Safety

Concerns for food safety are rising concern across the globe which can be tackled by incorporating big data into farming practices. Every year millions of people suffer from food-related illnesses. Improved farming systems can aid in detecting contamination, viruses or microbes early. This is where big data comes into play.

It allows for vast amounts of data to be collected on variables such as weather conditions, humidity levels, moisture, etc. This data can be used to determine the health of the crop. One of the easiest ways for farmers to access this data is via online sources such as ground sensors and satellite imagery. These tools provide valuable insights on weather data (current, past, and forecasted), etc.

9.      It's Reduced the Migration of the Agricultural Labour Force to Other Industries

The use of big data in agriculture has proven that there are a lot of opportunities for technological advancements in the oldest sectors of the world. The potential for growth and new exciting opportunities make this industry attractive for specialists and prevents them from switching industries in search of new opportunities.

If you are interested in applying big data in agriculture and want to make a career in it, contact the Agricultural Recruitment Specialists team today to connect with some of the biggest brands in agriculture. It's our aim to find you your perfect job.