5 “Must-Haves” For Precision Agriculture To Thrive In 2016

Sorting through the complex and ever-changing nature of precision agriculture is challenging to say the least. But one thing is for certain, this industry is primed to prosper despite tough market conditions. In my view, these five “must-have” things need to happen to take precision agriculture to the next level in 2016.

  1. More APIs. In order to get to true “Plug And Play” compatibility across the industry, every software solution, in-cab computing console and wireless data transfer/cloud storage system needs to work with every color of equipment.
  2. Better data standardization across software, equipment systems. AgGateway is reportedly close to announcing the results of its Standardized Precision Ag Data Exchange (SPADE) project, so perhaps we will know more on this one soon.
  3. Uncover the Holy Grail of data management systems. So many data management systems, so little time to figure out which one(s) will rise to the top. Maybe in 2016 we can move the needle on figuring out which data management system will rule them all going forward.
  4. Convince FAA to abolish line-of-sight restrictions for rural UAV usage. Drone usage in agriculture is kind of in a bit of a lull lately as the industry waits on more-sensible regulations. Until the regulatory folks loosen the reigns on precision agriculture and allow operations in rural, low population areas to expand their scale beyond the current rules it will likely remain in a holding pattern.
  5. Make greater use of new predictive (or prescriptive) analytics offerings. Startup outfits like Mankato, MN-based Aglytix, FarmLink and Farmer’s Business Network and others like IBM’s Watson platform that promise advanced analytical analysis of yield and other forms of agronomic data are making some big promises on what growers can do using their platforms. Let’s hope one (or all of them) can deliver the goods in 2016.

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2 comments on “5 “Must-Haves” For Precision Agriculture To Thrive In 2016

  1. I think visibility to aircraft should rank pretty high also , but didn`t see it mentioned.The results of tests in colo. were pretty obvious that given time , without some upgrades to drones some spray pilot will hit one. How are your operators going to be trained?? How much insurance are you required to have?? I and others in my field of ag aviation have many hours of training & testing to keep unqualified people out of our line of work. What are you going to require?? How are you going to practice [ SEE&AVOID ]????? Jerry Putman , concerned ag pilot

    1. Jerry – Thanks for commenting. The sense and avoid technology u reference does in fact exist, PrecisionHawk’s LATAS technology comes to mind, among others. I personally cannot speak to its performance, but the capabilities seem intriguing.

      As to your other questions re: insurance issues, unqualified operators, etc. – I for one, cannot offer an answer on those issues. If u have information on those concerns for drone use in ag i’d love to chat over the phone if you’d be so inclined?

      Cheers!

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