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Agri Tech News South Africa

Hacking the farm: how farmers use 'digital agriculture' to grow more crops

The world's population is growing at a shocking rate, with an expected 1.2 billion more mouths to feed by 2030, according to the United Nations. Meanwhile, the amount of arable land is decreasing, and farmers face mounting challenges.

Climate Corporation aims to take the guesswork out of issues like weather and crop disease. The 10-year-old company offers a slate of "digital agriculture" tools that provide a real-time, Facebook-esque feed about what's happening on a farm at every moment.

"We're using data science to de-convolute what's going on there," Climate Corporation CEO Mike Stern told CNNMoney. "Information on the farm is now being collected the same way we collect information on our cell phones or our iPads."

In fact, farmers use an app to make sense of all Climate Corporation's data. The company's FieldView product includes notifications for things like how much precipitation accumulated over the past 24 hours. A historical and real-time weather feature advises whether fields are workable based on current conditions, and a nitrogen tracker recommends when nutrients should be added to the soil.

Meanwhile, a crown jewel "field health adviser" feature uses aerial imagery from drones and satellites to create a red- and green-spotted map (red for warning areas; green for good). It helps farmers identify where crops are growing slowly, prioritize which fields to attend to, and ideally avoid crop health issues before they affect yields.

Read the full article on Agri Africa.

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