[:is]The latest estimates from the FAO show the following data: in 2050 there will be 9,000 million people in the world, who will have to eat at least three times a day. For this, agriculture must increase yields up to 70% in some regions of the world, and this increase in production must be carried out in sustainable way, consuming less water, less fertilizer, and using the same amount of soil, in order to preserve the environment.
Therefore, a difficult challenge is posed, and for this it will be necessary to resort to all the tools available to us. One of these tools and technologies that are beginning to be used by companies in the sector is BIG DATA.
"Despite technological development, the only sure thing about the future is that we will continue eating 3 times a day, which is why agriculture will continue to be a profession with a future."
This new technology allows the farmer to make much more precise weather predictions, to be able to anticipate where and when a pest or a specific attack will disease.
Before beginning to explain the possibilities of Big Data for the agricultural sector, we will shed some light on this new tool available to our sector...
What is the big data?
Briefly, Big Data allows the management and analysis of huge volumes of data that cannot be processed conventionally, since they exceed the limits and capabilities of the software tools commonly used for data capture, management, and processing.
Therefore, the objective of Big Data is to allow analyze a large amount of data in real time and help decision making, for better management, in our case, of our farms.
How does Big Data work?
For example, to collect all the data from a farm, you must first install a network of sensors and probes that record information about the soil, the chemicals and fertilizers applied, the tasks performed and the weather,... Even data on the price and the market of the products that are harvested to adjust the collection.
All these data are stored on a server that correlates and interprets them to pass a detailed report to the farmer, which can reach his tablet or smartphone, which allows you to have control over the farm at all times.
Although the initial investment may be somewhat high (€7,000-10,000 for 50 hectares), in the long term you end up saving on agricultural inputs, as well as increasing crop yields, making the initial investment worthwhile and obtaining remarkable benefits.
What can it contribute to agriculture?
In general, and as mentioned in the previous point, Big Data allows the farmer to visualize all the productive parameters of his farm in real time, and improves the decision-making process, since data on markets and prices of the products grown, which allows you not only to increase productivity, but also to adapt the harvest to the best season, thus optimizing the set of operations on the farm and the crops.
What can farmers achieve thanks to the data obtained from Big Data?
- The application of this technology in farms allows the subdivision the entire extension of our farm. This has a great advantage: it allows you to take decisions in each plot, adjusting each agricultural task to only a portion of the farm and not to its entirety, which allows the savings that are detailed below.
- Reduce water consumption by up to 40%. Thanks to the probes installed in the farm's soil, soil moisture can be measured at all times, thus allowing adjust the irrigation parameters so as not to waste a drop of water. In addition, with the updated weather forecasts, you can predict when it will rain, and therefore delay irrigation or adjust it to these weather conditions, with which water savings are greater.
- Reduce the use of phytosanitary products by 30%. It has been proven that Big Data makes it possible to predict when a disease or a plague, thanks to the combination of meteorological data and the state of the crop. Thanks to this prediction, it can be adjust the application of phytosanitary products, reducing the amount needed to apply to the plot.
- Increase performance up to 20%. Another of the interesting aspects of Big Data is that it allows adjusting the different agricultural tasks on our plot, ranging from pruning to harvesting, which translates into being able to make work schedules in the field much more optimized, allowing us, for example, to carry out pruning at the right time. Collect the product in its optimal state of maturation, and adjust the harvest to the best prices in the market. All this translates not only into an increase in crop yield, but also in its profitability..
- Improves the traceability of food from the field to the table. Additionally, Big Data allows recording all the phases that our agricultural product goes through, from the time it is planted, until it reaches the consumer, providing added value to the crops; allowing increase the profitability of farms. This last aspect that we consider key in IDEAGRO and that is why we are clearly committed to the knowledge and use of any new technology that can increase the sustainability of agriculture at the same time that it improves food security, guaranteeing enough food for the population.
IDEAGRO, as a company always interested in new technologies and tools, has used the wide possibilities of Big Data.
The most recent experience was in the framework of the project "ZERO WASTE", co-financed by the LIFE + program of the European Union (ref. LIFE 12 ENV/ES/902). The main objective of the ZERO WASTE project is to improve the sustainability and quality of stone fruit production in order to create a more competitive and healthier sector. One of the objectives of the project was the development of the Zero Residues (CR) methodology, a new approach to produce, preserve, process and market stone fruits without residues, which promotes the creation of a new trend in fruit production, with higher quality, more attractive and healthier at a competitive price.
On the other hand, the CR methodology will help to improve various environmental problems generated in the crop, for example, integrated pest management will drastically reduce pesticide doses, in turn, will prevent soil degradation and groundwater contamination. For this, within the framework of the project, IDEAGRO implemented, in collaboration with ZERYA the Zerya® Predictive Models App, an app that helps manage the protection of crops from pests and diseases from any computer or mobile device. In order to offer the 'predictive models' developed in the App, IDEAGRO resorted to data intelligence or Big Data, thus offering stone fruit producers the possibility of preventing fungal diseases and pests in their crops.
[:in]The latest FAO data estimates that in 2050 there will be 9,000 million people worldwide, who should at least eat 3 times a day. For this, agriculture will have to increase yields up to and over 70% in some regions of the world, and this increase in production has to be done sustainably, using less water, fertilizers and having the same agricultural soil available to preserve the environment.
Thus, it poses a difficult challenge that will require resources and all available tools at our disposal. One of these tools and technologies that is beginning to be used by the agrifood sector companies is BIG DATA.
«Despite the technological development, the only sure thing is that we will continue eating 3 times a day, so agriculture will remain a profession with future».
This new technology allows farmers to be able to make more accurate weather forecasts and to predict where and when to attack a pest or a particular disease. Before scrutinizing the potential of Big Data for the agricultural sector, we will throw some light on this new tool available to our industry…
What is Big Data?
Briefly, Big Data allows the management and analysis of huge volumes of data that cannot be treated conventionally while exceeding the limits and capabilities of commonly used software tools for capturing, managing and processing data. Therefore, the goal of Big Data is analyzing a large amount of data in real time to help decision making for better management of our agriculture.
How Big Data works?
For example, to collect all the data from a farm, a network of sensors and probes that record information of soil, chemicals and fertilizers applied, climate and tasks performed etc , even price & market data for crops harvested in order to adjust the harvesting timing , must first be installed.
All this data is stored on a computer server that correlates and interprets , finally giving the farmer a detailed report, which can be received multiple ways (tablet or smartphone, allowing the farmer to have control over the property variables at all times).
Although the initial investment may be high (€7,000-10,000 for 50 hectares) in the long run the farmer will end up saving on agricultural inputs, and increasing yields, making the initial investment worth while; being able to obtain significant benefits.
What can bring Big Data to agriculture?
In general, and as discussed in the previous section, Big Data allows the farmer to display all the production parameters of its operation in real time, and improve the decision-making process, since it can incorporate data on markets and prices of grown crops, allowing not only to increase productivity, but also the best time to harvest and optimizing the set of farm operations.
What can farmers get through the data obtained from Big Data technology?
- The application of this technology allows the fragmentation of the whole extent on farms. This has a great advantage as it allows decisions on each plot, adjusting every agricultural task to one portion of the estate, allowing the savings below.
- Reduce water usage up to 40%. Thanks to the probes installed in the soil of the farm it is possible to measure soil moisture at all times, making it easy to adjust the parameters of irrigation not to waste any drop of extra water. In addition, updated weather forecasts, can help a farmer in predicting rain, and thus delay irrigation or adjust to such weather conditions, so that water savings could be even higher.
- Boosts performance up to 20%. Another key aspect of Big Data is that it permits adjustment of the different agricultural labors on farm land, from pruning to harvesting, which translates in to making more optimized working schedules allowing for example to perform pruning at the right time or collect the product at its optimal ripeness while adjusting the crop harvest at the best market prices. All this results not only into an increased crop yield, but also into an increased profitability.
- Improves the traceability of food from farm to table. Additionally, Big Data records all stages through our agricultural products and crops, from planting until it reaches the consumer, adding more value to crops and allowing farms to increase profitability. In IDEAGRO we consider traceability a key aspect, and that is why we clearly focus on understanding and applying any new technology that can increase sustainability of agriculture while improving food safety and security while ensuring enough food for the worlds ever increasing population.
IDEAGRO as a company always interested in new technologies and tools has already used the wide possibilities of Big Data.
The most recent experience was as part of the “Zero Residue” project, co-funded by the LIFE + program of the European Union (ref. LIFE 12 ENV / ES / 902). The project aims to improve the sustainability and the quality of the production of Stone fruit to create a more competitive and healthy sector.
In the course of the project a Zero Waste (ZR) methodology will be developed. This will demonstrate that this new approach to produce, store, process and market stone fruit without waste, creates a new trend in fruit production, with higher quality, more attractive and healthier at more a competitive price. On the other hand, ZR methodology helps to improve various environmental problems generated, for example, integrated pest management will dramatically reduce pesticide doses, and instead, will prevent degradation of soil and groundwater contamination.
Furthermore, the implementation of new technologies will increase the shelf life of the fruit after harvest by use of innovative micro perforated packaging and the use of atmospheric controls. As for fruit waste generated due to the imperfections of quality this will be transformed into an interesting product for baby food factories, thus leading to new sales channels. Finally, a certificate will be developed, which can only be obtained if the production meets the requirements of zero residues. All knowledge is made available to other producers in order to spread the information as much as possible.
Under the project, IDEAGRO implemented in collaboration with project developers a Zerya® Predictive Models, an app that will help to manage crops protection against pests and diseases from any computer or mobile device. To develop the 'predictive models' of the app, IDEAGRO resorted to intelligence data or better known big data technology, offering stone fruit producers a chance to prevent fungal diseases and pests proving consumers with heather products and ensuring a more sustainable agriculture.[:]