Is Data Science Helpful in Agriculture?

Data Science is a newly emerging multidisciplinary science that affects almost all global business areas. Applying data science also offers tremendous potential in the field of agriculture. The more farmers can understand and see what is happening in the fields, the more they are able to make the right as well as strategic choices, both as a business owner and to make better use of land resources.

Digital technology helps farmers collect various information from the field. It can also allow them to closely monitor each piece of land so that they can determine exactly what is needed for a particular crop to thrive while enabling them to avoid or reduce the resources that are not essential to the crop. Farmers can use data science to determine how much fertilizer, water and other inputs are needed to harvest the best crop. It can also help them determine how much seeds need to be planted to achieve maximum seed yield.

Interdisciplinary field

Agricultural science is a complex field that merges many disciplines. The basics of biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, statistics, business management and economics are used here. As in any other industry, the role of farmer data scientist is very complex and responsible and requires experts with versatile skill sets. Aspiring data scientists in agriculture need exposure to plant biotechnology, plant science, animal science and soil science to make an impact and so they can make sense out of the set of unstructured data from various resources.

Currently, interactions with farmers show that they are ready for any technology that can help improve the agricultural economy. Now they need to be taught the potential risk mitigation and other potential drawbacks of data science technologies. Farmers are open to accepting new technology in general. Agricultural data is currently a precious commodity in the global agricultural market and they can affect agriculture in various ways.

Helps control food inflation

The usual cause of the unpredictable and sudden sharp rise in food inflation is a lack of timely supply. Although demand patterns are more or less predictable, the challenge is to estimate supply in the food category. Perishable crops usually have price volatility, which is a major setback for farmers. Timely availability of data for sowing, harvesting and production is the only solution for this.

Helps reduce waste of agricultural products

Large losses in agriculture come from waste of products, the causes of which may be lack of proper storage, handling and planning. If wasteful factors can be monitored using remote sensors or devices during storage and transport, this will be a way to solve the problem. Data knowledge technology can be used to alert farmers if the supply is much more than current market demand. Thus, the stocks can be preserved or sowing can be controlled to reduce criminal waste of crops, which is a boon to the farmers.