IBM Big Data Improves Agricultural Efficiency


by | Apr 25, 2014

tractorIBM’s weather forecasting technology will help Georgia farmers improve agricultural efficiency by up to 20 percent, the company says.

The Flint River Partnership (which includes the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and The Nature Conservancy) tapped IBM big data to enable smarter irrigation. Working with the University of Georgia, IBM’s Deep Thunder precision weather forecasting will help farmers in the Lower Flint River Basin make more informed irrigation scheduling decisions to conserve water, improve crop yields and mitigate the impact of future droughts.

Because the forecasts will be available on mobile devices, farmers will have 24-hour access to weather information in conjunction with other relevant field data. The Partnership is also using IBM Softlayer to manage data flows and automate irrigation recommendations, allowing farmers to determine how much water a specific crop needs at various stages of its life cycle.

In another move toward more sustainable agriculture, last year Monsanto bought the Climate Corporation for about $930 million in an effort to help farmers use big data to produce more crops while using fewer natural resources. The Climate Corporation’s technology platform uses hyper-local weather monitoring, agronomic data modeling and high-resolution weather simulations to help farmers predict crop yields.

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