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GE Powers Internet of Agriculture
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Re: Internet of Agriculture
  • 1/31/2015 3:45:41 PM
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It is interesting to see GE become an influence in IOT - I just read about Intel's stake in IOT as well. Many times we tend to think Apple or Samsung first for IOT devices, but forget that other long standing organizations have resources and interest, too.

Re: Internet of Agriculture
  • 1/31/2015 3:44:13 PM
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The material impact from sensors, let alone an IOT approach in a solution, is a big factor in overcoming sales resistance. If innovations like this can keep proving a cost savings, the resistance to adoption will be reduced.

Re: Internet of Agriculture
  • 8/29/2014 7:18:38 AM
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There are a lot of very good things that some technology can do for the agriculture industry.  I know that large tractors come with GPS now and I've seen a field cleared using GPS to guide the tractor but that same day I heard the words "don't trust the GPS for everything, a 3 foot miss can be big money" referring to putting a tractor into a ditch because the GPS said we were going to clear it.  Soil sensors were one of the things I was thinking about, knowing when to rotate crops, when to fertilize optimal watering, etc.  Many farmers have been doing this the manual way for so long they are human sensors so I think this is going to be a slow adoption.

Re: Internet of Agriculture
  • 8/28/2014 9:27:31 AM
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GE would seemingly be starting the sensor program in agriculture with grain silos as it's one of the most dangerous infrastructures should there be a fire or explosion. It's probably an easy sell to the operators of the facilities since insurance costs would presumably go down with the new installation of monitoring equipment.

Re: Internet of Agriculture
  • 8/28/2014 9:14:57 AM
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I agree with SaneIT that besides the harsh environments, lack of acceptance can be a roadblock to use of sensors in agriculture. It's true that there is a lot to be said for the "feel" that a farmer has for things like when to plant, water, and fertilize. There's no need to do away with the experience that they bring.

However, some of the things I've heard that sensors can offer them are pretty impressive, not in terms of replacing their experience but simply in saving them time. What some of the big farms have been doing is placing sensors throughout their fields to monitor soil for moisture and alkalinity. 

Of course, a farmer can check the soil on their own but the differences in the need for water or fertilizer can vary greatly from one portion of the field to another. How many spots in that field can that farmer test, and how much time and effort is involved? Here in the Northeast one field might be 20 to 100 acres, which is tiny compared with what you see in the midwest. Even in 20 acres the chemical/moisture variances can be huge.

So, the sensors have the ability to save the farmer time (and shoe leather) while helping to make outlying sections of the farm more productive. Not many farmers would trade the ultimate timesavers -- their tractors (on the small farms) or combines (on the bigger ones) -- for a plow horse. Can sensors and data play the same role if pitched as time savers?

Internet of Agriculture
  • 8/28/2014 7:38:09 AM
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I remember someone saying that if you could build a sensor that could withstand the demands of the rail system you would have a billion dollar product.  I assume that is almost the same for agriculture.  Harsh environments, a non-technical audience and proving the usefulness of your product is a big hill to climb.  One side of my family is still in the family farming business. I know they would be able to use metrics on many of the things they do but I also understand that for them feel is as important as data and that will be hard to overcome even on the most industrialized farms.



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