AI Takes Over American Farming
Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to disrupt health care, manufacturing and even retail.
In fact, right now AI adaptation across industries is growing at an accelerated rate…
… And right now the big names in tech are putting in resources to bring AI to farming.
According to Forbes, agriculture is a $5 trillion industry. And projections say that the world will need to produce 50% more food by 2050.
This could be a problem when you consider that many small farms in the U.S. are struggling to stay afloat. Farm bankruptcies in the Midwest were up 12% from the summer of 2018 to the summer of 2019.
Climate change is also an issue. Hotter weather, stronger storms and changing weather patterns have caused issues planning crops.
This is where AI solutions can step in.
No, We’re Not Talking About Robot Farmers…
(Although robotic technology is being used in agriculture right now.)
As it turns out, AI can help produce healthier crops, control pests and monitor soil and growing conditions.
With the right data farms can now collect, they can know the precise time that a plant will bloom — and then be ready to pick.
But while technology could help solve a lot of the problems that farmers are facing, many farmers don’t have the power or internet connectivity needed to use it.
That is where Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) steps in.
Microsoft’s AI for Earth program brings scientists, conservationists and farmers, among others, to talk about the implications of AI in agriculture.
MSFT doesn’t stop there, though.
The company’s Azure FarmBeats program is working to bring tech to farmers.
One of the ways they are doing this is by finding a way to gather soil data without the need for expensive sensors. Instead, you would be able to use a wireless chipset from your phone.
By using drones and image-based machine-learning algorithms, farmers are able to increase their productivity and profitability. MSFT is even turning to satellite technology to help…
Last fall the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) partnered with Microsoft to test the use of the technology to help farmers.
And a farm just two hours from our Baltimore offices is testing the use of the satellite technology to help determine soil health.
Harborview Farms uses Microsoft’s FarmBeats technology to measure the temperature, water and nitrate leaching in the soil. Combined with satellite imagery, farmers are able to see which crops are suffering — without having to drive acres of land. Everything goes directly to an app on their cellphone.
As you already know, Apple and Amazon (among others) are already using satellite technology to try to solve the internet issue in rural areas.
(You can access my exclusive research on this topic right here.)
Microsoft is far from the only tech company working to tackle the problems agriculture is facing. And there may be even some under-the-radar opportunities in the near future. If I come across any, you’ll be the first to know…
To a bright future,