Big data is coming to agriculture. Farmers must set its course

The industrialization of agriculture began some 100 years ago. We are now witnessing its digitalization. But a wave of big data may sweep farmers off their land, unless they mark out a course in good time and decide which problems digital technologies should address.

In the future, young farmers are likely to don digital glasses or consult other devices that will help them analyze their work and make decisions. Their data might be collected by self-piloted multicopters, which review the state of the field according to empirical formulas and provide specific, effective cultivation tips for individual plants, for both organic and conventional farming, writes Achim Walter, Professor of Crop Science, ETH Zurich. Read more