Agricultural technology is now acknowledged and certified by our friend Rob Schmidt, the savvy CIO from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).
He illumines the agricultural version of the Internet of Things (IoT) in a new post on the CDFA’s Planting Seeds blog. This is a core concept and essential adaptation if you grow food for a living, and your living will depend on your ability to increase crop yields on the same amount of land with most likely less water, fertilizer and pesticides.
Again, as you and I discuss in this space, farmers need help integrating mobile, sensors, cloud, apps — but then you knew that, huh?
Not that easy. Farming is a heaven for multiple devices: Stationary devices like plants, irrigation equipment, energy supplies, input tanks (for fertilizer and pesticides) and more. Devices that move, like cell phones, tractors and their many-purposed attachments (planters, thinners, trimmers, input tanks, harvesters …).
And don’t forget the weather, soil conditions and the needs of the crop at that particular time in that tiny space of earth.
How you can make money: Figure out how each device collects the most useful data, learns from it and then passes it on to the next device.
Read Schmidt’s latest official blog here: http://plantingseedsblog.cdfa.ca.gov/wordpress/?p=8983
But wait, there’s more! TechWire, where you’re reading this, published an applied example of ag tech.
Firebaugh, the San Joaquin Valley farm town, is hosting a remarkably successful solar array that powers a desalination plant that purifies farm runoff water and then returns the water to be reused.
Understand something important: This is possible because of market conditions – the drought and demand are driving up the price of water; thus, recycled water is now economically viable. And one more thing: Ag tech has to work in the San Joaquin Valley, home of the globe’s most productive region.
This story is the account of the entrepreneur behind the small desalination plant and his vision to scale up.
This gent grasped one of our leading indicators: Find what works and makes a profit for the end user. In this case, it’s not-so-simple technology transfer — move desalination from ocean water to what is called “brackish groundwater.”
Until literally a few months ago, brackish groundwater was a niche in a niche. Now it’s not.
Take your ag tech talents and find the next brackish groundwater.