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Webrain Reports Archive

#193 – Actionable Farming Intelligence

The farm is not usually thought of as a place brimming with cutting-edge digital technology, but it is quickly becoming one of the most connected and digitized work sites out there. For decades, the industry has been dominated by a group of companies called the Big Six, suppliers of everything from fertilizer to seeds. Lately, however, these entrenched companies have been acquiring IT startups to expand their offerings to farming customers. Meanwhile, schools such as MIT have added new classes about tech advances in technology used on farms, while companies such as semiconductor manufacturer Qualcomm have made large investments in ag-tech startups. Historically, farmers have been slow to adopt new technology due to high costs and products that do not yet have a long, proven track record. Digital tools that have been used have typically subjected farmers to data rich, information poor (DRIP) results. That is, the tools deliver copious amounts of data, but fail to convert it into the information the farmer actually needs.


But Webrain now sees a new era of Actionable Farming Intelligence (AFI) tools that give farmers the ability to harness this data and receive benefits in the same manner that enterprises benefited from Business Intelligence (BI) tools. The core concepts of BI tools and practices – such as data visualization, dashboards, and predictive analysis – allow AFI to convert data gathered on the farm into actionable insights that can directly benefit operations. And the impact extends far beyond the farm. Food distributors, warehouses, processors, restaurants, and grocery stores – essentially the entire food supply chain – will all benefit from the improved processes delivered by AFI.  What this means is that technology companies that have never played in the agricultural sector now have an exciting opportunity to leverage their products and services in this rapidly evolving area. AI, cloud technology, sensors, drones, IoT, advanced imagery, and robotics are just a sampling of what’s needed to power the farms of tomorrow. Does your company have a product line that could be targeted toward AFI? Are you missing out on a potentially lucrative new revenue stream? In this report, Webrain examines the growing AFI market and the wide range of players that are involved in bringing new technologies to the farmlands.

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