March 24, 2021 By John Ciempa 2 min read

There is a concentrated effort to modernize the agriculture industry, and data-driven weather intelligence is the key to sustainability. Managing the decision-making processes of farming has always been complex because there are so many different limiting factors that aren’t within a farmer’s control. The weather itself being chief among them.

Big data is out there, and we are leveraging it to help modern agriculture evolve so that it relies less on manual input and more on data-driven analysis. We understand that it’s impractical to rely on intuition and traditional technology while the global population continues to expand and pressure continues to build in the agriculture industry. As a result, we are developing solutions for agriculture that use automatic data collection, predictive analytics and AI-driven insights as their very foundation for sustainable agriculture.

The vision of sustainable agriculture involves people in a variety of capacities throughout the industry. We will explore how we got to this point and why modern agricultural practices are the logical next step for the world to thrive.

Read: Ensure sustainable operation of our global food supply

Modernizing agriculture: The solution to historical problems

The amount of arable land is likely going to remain constant. As the population steadily grows, we will need to produce more crops from existing resources. By the year 2050, there will be 9 billion people on the planet. To feed this growing population, food production must increase by at least 70%.

If the agriculture industry does not look beyond traditional strategies, future generations will not be able to produce and take advantage of our arable land. In the past, agriculture focused on taking full advantage of available land and yielding as many crops as possible. There was no focus on sustainable crop production or land preservation. From a financial standpoint there was no focus on profitability and conserving land and resources. These go hand-in-hand.

Three benefits of taking a leap towards sustainable agriculture

There are real advantages to committing to the development of technologically driven agricultural practices, and advanced weather data and analytics will help us get there. We aim to help growers and enterprises make better decisions based on weather data, so we can continue building towards the notable benefits of sustainable agriculture:

1. Conserving the environment and preventing pollution

By adopting sustainable practices, farmers will reduce their reliance on nonrenewable energy, reduce chemical use and save scarce resources. Keeping the land healthy and replenished can go a long way when considering the rising population and demand for food.

2. Reducing costs and focus on profits

Farming smarter and moving food from farm to fork in a more efficient manner will benefit everyone involved with the agriculture industry. IoT data from sensors installed in everything from seed drills, sprayers, and spreaders to drones, satellite imagery, and soil turn surprises into rarities.

3. Improving food production without being wasteful

As we have explained, the anticipated population increase is cause for concern. Today, there is an opportunity to develop agricultural practices from a pure production standpoint, and sustainable agriculture is the route with the most opportunity.


Tech for modern agriculture

The Weather Company is focused on maximizing food production while minimizing environmental impact and limiting the necessary operating costs. Modernizing agricultural practices is no short-term endeavor, but through the experience of veteran industry leaders, decades of IBM research, artificial intelligence, analytics, and predictive insights with unique, Internet of Things (IoT) data we hope to lead the evolution of modern agriculture.

Explore the IBM Intelligence Suite here
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