Big Data in Agriculture


Big Data is a disruptive technology. It is changing major industries from the inside. In the next posts, we will learn how Big Data changes different industries.

Today’s focus: Big Data for Agriculture.

Well wait – farming and IT? Really? Short answer: YES!

I believe that we are at the brink of something revolutionary in agriculture. This topic has largely been ignored in industrialization and the ongoing digitalization. Agriculture is (at least in Europe) done by many farmers that cultivate rather small land. Big Data is not about to change this in favor of few farmers on large land – the changes are more about performance, quality and quantity.

I recently had a very interesting discussion with someone from a ministry in Europe working on IT and agriculture. They expect a lot from Big Data. First, they want to improve the way how terrain is used by integrating geo-data from satellites. Analysing the terrain and former usages of the terrain gives additional benefits on what to grow on a specific place. The ministry also wants to integrate weather data in combination with what grains grow on a specific place. This would give additional informations on where water is missing. The long-term idea behind that is to make integrate drones that take care of watering grains and plants that had too little water so far. This is also useful for “premier” goods such as wine. Better quality means higher prices and profits for farmers.

At present, companies such as John Deree are working on integrating Data into their products and services. We can expect some very interesting things to happen here 😉

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Published by

Mario Meir-Huber

I work as Big Data Architect for Microsoft. With this role, I support my customers in applying Big Data technologies - mainly Hadoop/Spark - for their use-cases. I also teach this topic at various universities and frequently speak at various Conferences. In 2010 I wrote a book about Cloud Computing, which is often used at German & Austrian Universities. In my home country (Austria) I am part of several organisations on Big Data.

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