“At CropTec I’ll be exploring how we can use the wealth data to improve performance on the farm by perhaps improving yields, reducing inputs or making more informed cropping and crop protection decisions. Over the last 15 years the amount of global information has increased by more than fivefold as new technology has made it easier and cheaper to capture and store data. GPS, Global Information Systems and advances in remote and in situ technology has allowed us to build up many layers of information about a farm or a field on an hourly, daily weekly or even seasonal basis. The challenge is to transform this digital farm information into intelligent farm information that can anticipate growing conditions and instigate action.
The Government has recognised the importance of so-called Big Data with £10 million in funding to establish the Agri Infomatics Centre as part of its AgriTech strategy. Another £10 million is due to come from industry sources and famers will be able to use that data alongside the data they generate on their own farms.
Data management is one of the biggest challenges in precision farming. Adopting the advancement in data science will help the industry to increase efficiency, productivity and profitability.
Events such as CropTec are important to expose farmers and growers to the latest technology, knowledge, research and development and products to increase productivity, profitability and business resilience.
I’ll be at CropTec with my regional colleague Harry Henderson. My background is in research and his in farm machinery, so on the HGCA stand you’ll be able to get both practical and technical background to the data revolution.
Shamal Mohammed received a PhD from Cranfield University in 2010 for his work in the application of remote sensing and geographic information systems. He is still a visiting fellow at Cranfield.