Agtech Tools Need to Go Further for Actionable Insights
Farming is sometimes referred to as the least digitized industry. One reason this could be the case is because a lot of decisions on the farm have to take into account a wide variety of data that is sometimes not quantifiable. For instance, when looking at crop disease risk, temperature and moisture will be big factors that determine an outbreak, but this doesn’t give you enough data to make informed decisions. Arable CEO Jim Ethington sees this changing though as more technology becomes available.
Ethington… “If I'm trying to help a farmer, make a decision about whether or not there is disease risk, there's a couple other key pieces that you can call the disease triangle, right. We're really talking about one point on that triangle, which is, did the environment set up in a way that it was hotter, it was wetter, the leaves stayed wet longer. Those are the types of things we can characterize. What we can't characterize is were those fungal spores in the air. And if there's not an inoculum, all the conditions in the world don't mean to go spray.”
Ethington says there are now technologies, for example, that can count the amount of spores in the air from that pathogen, eventually leading to enough data to make those decisions.
Ethington… “Those types of technologies are real, and they complete part of the Arable story. Now I have a much clearer picture to say: if you go spray, it's going to be worth the money. And that's really what the question is.”
Arable brings together various data points to give farmers this type of actionable information.