The business of agriculture may be more difficult today than ever. This USD 5 trillion industry is currently undergoing massive disruptions and facing serious challenges, including:

  • Increasingly volatile weather

  • Growing environmental and regulatory pressures

  • Greater demand for food quality and sustainability

  • Fragmented global food chain

  • The proliferation of loss and waste


Artificial Intelligence

An explosion of farm data presents an opportunity to meet these challenges through focused and thoughtful applications of technology. For example, modern farming equipment can help enable precision agriculture by fine-tuning fertilizer and pesticide applications. Sensors embedded in the soil can help improve yields by transmitting information about moisture and nutrients to cloud platforms where that data is combined with high-definition satellite imagery and drone footage of fields.

The platform supports responsible farming by identifying and expanding best practices for water and soil management. This includes the impacts of weather, crops and livestock on a field. Recommendations are created to help growers optimize operations such as irrigation and drainage, improving quality and sustainability while better managing costs.

Recent outbreaks of E. coli in beef and romaine lettuce are leading to increasing consumers’ demand for quality and sustainability in farming practices. Powered by the IBM Blockchain platform, the Food Trust network supports visibility across virtually the entire agriculture ecosystem, driving accountability and traceability for every step of the food journey.

Enterprises can gain a clearer understanding of boundaries and crop types for specific fields by applying machine learning to satellite and drone imagery as well as GPS data. These capabilities are designed to support not only better field-specific decisions for yield forecasting, crop health and food quality, but also to assist in evaluating regulatory compliance and validating insurance claims.