Big data informs agriculture management decisions

In the mid-1990s, I attended a large farm show with my husband where he preceded to point out all the ways data could be collected on various aspects of the farm operation. My comment at that time was “Who do you think is going to enter all that information?” Well, agriculture technology has come a long way since then, in both quality and quantity.

Today, data is collected, shared and utilized on farms to help aid decision makers not only on a farm and field scale, but also on points within a field. Farmers and companies have invested significant time, money and effort into the collection of data to the point it is now being referred to as “big data.”

A recent article by Alan Guebert, “Big Agriculture, big data and big money,” stated that every day the world generates 2.5 quintillion bytes of electronic data. To put it into perspective, you would need 57.5 billion iPads (32-gigabyte memory) to hold just one day’s worth of data. Now that is big!

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