Farmers Worry About Sharing Big Data

When it comes to keeping data secure, farmers are worried about some of the same issues as the rest of us. Precision data from the farm could help drive new levels of productivity, but farmers have to decide just how much they want to share.
Precision agriculture started with satellite-guided tractors and maps recording pinpoint levels of grain yields during harvest. But farmers like Dave Beck are taking the next step.
Beck’s machine shop is filled with some of the old tools for farming like wrenches, metal grinders, and air compressors. But sitting on a steel slab of a welding table is one of the new tools: a laptop computer loaded with specialized software.
On the laptop, Beck has access to a detailed planting map for one of his irrigated fields. It shows a bright green circle inside a dark red square. The map tells Beck’s planter to drop more than double the seeds in the green area covered by sprinklers than the red corners where the water doesn’t reach.

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