Agriculture, far from being behind, is an adopter of IoT, sensors and ideal for big data analytics. Just see the challenge in harvesting potatoes to see the benefits from data driven farming.
There is also an opportunity for small farmers worldwide to be paid to submit data into large global projects to give more complete pictures.
This is one way big data and technology can head off the Malthusian doom and gloom predictions of famine and scarcity.
By aggregating the results across a large number of farms with similar characteristics, big-data can look for trends that weren’t before obvious. This can be matching seed varieties* to a particular soil type based on predicted climatic conditions. This same seed variety may have performed quite differently in other soil types or different weather patterns. It is the role of big-data platforms and their underlying algorithms to analyse this information and determine which seed varieties will achieve maximum yield across the various soil types and growing conditions. This minimises the need for field trials by each and every grower and instead relies on the results across a large anonymous real-world data set. *Optimising seed variety to local conditions is one of many possible outcomes from big-data solutions.