The Power of Big Data on Smart Farming
Development and Innovation Learn more about how smart sensors and devices are improving agricultural sustainability and productivity data management.
Today’s farms use the latest technologies — ones that end up collecting a lot of data with their smart sensors and devices. One of the biggest challenges in farming is what to do with all that data. Ideally, it would be intelligible, insightful, and easily digestible by the farmer. This is where The Climate Corporation’s Climate FieldView™ digital agriculture platform can help.
“There are a lot of complexities with data management in agriculture, but Climate FieldView brings the data into one place,” says Denise Hockaday, the Canada business lead for The Climate Corporation. She grew up on a farm and understands the challenges farmers face. “Climate FieldView is intuitive and easy to use,” she says. “It helps farmers glean insight from the data and make informed decisions.”
Improving the bottom line
The goal is to improve farm sustainability and productivity. Farmers have dozens of decisions to make about their fields — how much seed to use, where to plant, how to manage the soil condition, irrigation options, and countless other concerns — and during the season new issues invariably crop up, such as plant disease, fertility, and drainage. With Climate FieldView, farmers can understand what’s happening in their fields in real time and can be proactive, rather than waiting until the end of the season and discovering problems when it’s too late.
“We bring the data to life and can offer real-time information,” says Hockaday. “Unlike other systems where you must download data from multiple places, and in some cases, wait for months to analyze it, Climate FieldView can give you all the data from a harvested field the minute you’re finished. And that data can easily be shared with other decision makers, such as agronomists, consultants, and seed sellers.”
Hockaday adds that if systems are difficult to use, they simply won’t get used. And the challenge that has often gone unaddressed is what to do with the data. Climate FieldView solves these issues and helps farmers not only contribute to our food supply but also run successful businesses.
Lynne Warriner, whose family has been farming the same 120 acres of land for almost 100 years, is a recent convert to Climate FieldView. She was won over by its ease of use and real-time access to data and reports. “We used this system for the first time this year, and we were very pleased with the results,” she says. “We’ve had other data management systems in the past, but they were cumbersome, and we would often have to wait to analyze the data. With Climate FieldView, we get instantaneous reporting in the cabs of our machines, which allows us to make decisions quicker.”
One function that Warriner likes is Climate FieldView’s ability to help with site-specific profitability. The system can better help farmers determine input costs by identifying where they should seed and fertilize. “In the past, we might have put the same amount of fertilizer across the entire field,” says Warriner, “but now the platform will tell us if there is no use in planting or fertilizing a parcel of land, which saves us from wasting resources.”
Climate FieldView can even be used when customer operators are doing work. Warriner recounts how she plugged the Climate FieldView Drive into a contractor’s combine and was able to get a report on her iPad when he was finished.
Climate FieldView is not a static platform. The Climate Corporation engages with its customers, and seeks input to further refine and improve the product. In addition, new ideas are being seeded in a science pipeline, where several projects are already helping to inform the next generation of the Climate FieldView platform.