Food production is lagging behind global population growth, due to increasing demand and flat crop yields. One obvious answer to the question of increased agricultural efficiency is new technology. In today’s farm country, drones map fields, software locates underground water and sets plans for planting, and tractors are loaded with electronic gear. Using big data requires big bucks, and investment in digital tools for farming is on the rise.
Food and agriculture technology startups attracted four point six billion dollars in investment last year, compared with two point three billion in 2014, reports Bloomberg Businessweek. Monsanto has taken the lead, spending almost one billion dollars to acquire Climate Corp, software that predicts how weather affects crop output. Monsanto has also acquired soil and analytics companies. It’s not alone-John Deere now offers tractors with autonomous, computer-managed driving, Dupont is expanding its farm management software unit, and Syngenta has made several digital farming acquisitions. These digital tools are not cheap and require intensive training to operate. But technology-driven information is clearly the model for future farming.
I’m John Howell for 3BL Media.