Farmers are unwittingly collecting mountains of information every year, but how can you make use of it all? Oliver Mark explores the curious world of big data
Harvesting data may seem a trivial matter compared to harvesting grain, rape or beet but as the years go by it will get increasingly important. Already, some farmers are collecting lorry-loads of information from yields, soil-mapping, fertiliser applications and weather data and it’s an area that can only expand.
So what is big data? It’s a relatively new buzzword that encompasses any big mass of information churned out by sensors or other recording equipment. In farming, that information could range from fungicide applications to dairy feed rations and from irrigation to slurry spreading.