Commentary: Growing smarter: The green data revolution

In the 1940s, the first wave of what is now called the Green Revolution brought significant advancements in plant breeding. This era was quickly followed by additional waves of innovation in advanced breeding and biotechnology, which helped reduce risk and increase food production.

There have been many advancements in agriculture since then. Among the most significant is how smartphones and tablets are putting the power of data science into the hands of farmers to help them optimize their harvests while using resources more efficiently. These devices have become such a big part of our daily lives that it's hard to believe they've been around for less than a decade. We're just starting to realize their potential to improve the way food makes it to our dinner tables.

Through The Climate Corporation, a division of Monsanto, we help farmers use data to make more informed decisions about their operations by measuring and delivering information on soil, field and weather conditions. These decisions help farmers to be more productive on each acre of land, using resources more efficiently and getting the most out of every harvest. We believe that through data science and the availability of digital technologies, we're now on the cusp of another key point in agriculture - the "Green Data Revolution" that will usher in the data-driven farm of the future.

Here are two key things you should know about how smart tech and the Green Data Revolution can help bring us the nutritious foods we need and want, all while using the same or fewer farming acres we use today.

  1. Data helps farmers plan for better harvests. Data can be used to create predictive models that help farmers optimize farming decisions throughout the season. More informed decisions lead to improved farm productivity and better harvests. That increases farmers' abilities to grow enough food to feed a world population that is expected to reach more than 9 billion people by 2050.
  2. Data enables decisions that are better for the planet. Just like you and I might check the weather on our smartphones, farmers can use web-based technology and apps to help make decisions like when to plant, how much fertilizer to apply and which seeds to use on different parts of a field to get the best level of production. This access to data helps farmers get the most out of every acre, driving better outcomes on the farm and our planet.

The Green Data Revolution represents an important frontier in the advancement of farming and our collective ability to meet the food and nutrition needs of present and future generations.

To find out more about how we're helping farmers use data and other products and services to grow more sustainably, check out the Monsanto 2014 Sustainability Report: From the Inside Out.


Latest News

How Important is U.S. Ag and Food to the Economy?

In celebration of National Ag Day and National Ag Week, the 2023 Feeding the Economy report shows just how vital the industry is to U.S. families, communities and the world.

Ferrie: Ready, Set, Whoops! A Fast Start To Fieldwork Could Cost You Big In Corn At V5

Caution can help you avoid creating compaction or density layers. Plus, if you're applying anhydrous now, allowing 14 days between the application and planting can prevent dead or damaged plants and costly yield dings.

Nebraska Farmland Values Jump 14% in 2023 — Up 30% in Two Years

This year marks the second-largest increase in the market value of agricultural land in Nebraska since 2014 and the highest non-inflation-adjusted statewide land value in the 45-year history of the survey. 

U.S. Milk Production and Cow Numbers Both Rise

The February 2023 USDA Milk Production report showed an 0.8% increase in year-over-year milk production with a total of 17.7 billion lbs. of milk. Also following suit, U.S. cow numbers also documented growth.

Crude Oil Prices Drop Below $70: What is the Outlook for Consumers at the Pump and Farmers Heading Into Spring Planting?

Oil prices are also off their highs of last year and gas and diesel prices are also sliding at the pump, but will that trend continue ahead of planting?   Energy experts are hoping the answer is yes.  

Can the $20-Billion Inflation Reduction Act Get Rolled Out Quickly Enough?

Industry experts say the new legislative package represents a 'generational opportunity' for conservation funding and needs to reach U.S. farmers and livestock producers sooner rather than later, starting this spring.