The #Agtech Industry Is Booming; But What Is Actually Happening on Farm?
The Ag Tech industry is well-funded and the product offerings at the farm-gate are many and varied, but how much of what is being developed is being used on farm today?
Google “Ag Tech” or search #agtech on social media and you will be overrun with stories of the technology that is propelling our industry into what has been coined by many as the “digital revolution”.
The AgTech industry is poised to continue its growth, at least according to AgFunder’s latest AgriFood Tech Investing Report published on March 7, where they reported $16.9 billion in funding in 2018.
Much of the highly talked about technology advancements that have been made ultimately require the use of a field data management software platform to harness the power of the data analytics and make management decisions that impact the profitable production of a farmer’s crop. It was with this in mind that in November, 2018, Stratus surveyed 1,560 farmers across North America about their practices and attitudes with respect to field data management software.
We found that the use of software is higher among US farmers; but 2018 saw a significant increase in reported use in Canada.
The list of features available in the different software platforms is extensive and the drivers of use will vary by farm. We did find that in both countries the use of ‘Yield Mapping’ is the most widely used feature of field data management software today, and use is increasing over time. The other feature that is climbing in use is that of weather data, where 26.9% of US farmers report accessing weather data (heat units, precipitation) for their farm. Record keeping, imagery and variable rate scripts are the other most frequently used software features.