Category Archives : N-of-8


Agrimetrics: Putting the UK at Heart of the Big Data Revolution in Agriculture

In the next 20 years, the global food system will face challenges that are unprecedented in the history of agriculture – along with unprecedented opportunity to nations and organizations best equipped to meet them. This month’s Budget announcement of £12 million funding for the Centre of Agricultural Informatics and Metrics of Sustainability, now called Agrimetrics, is another milestone for the Agri-Tech Industrial Strategy – enabling our food to be produced more efficiently and sustainably while creating jobs and growing the UK economy. Agrimetrics was proposed by a consortium of leading industry and academic partners, led by Rothamsted Research, the University of Reading, Scotland’s Rural […]


FBI warning to Farmers on use of technology: pay attention to security, or suffer the same fate as industries like healthcare.

In an FBI industry note dated March 31, the Bureau said increased adoption of “precision farming” technology threatens to expose the agriculture sector to hacking and data theft. “Historically, farming has lacked awareness of how their data should be protected from cyber exploitation,” the FBI said. That’s a dangerous precedent as farmers invest in connected and data-intensive equipment and services. Possible risks include hacktivists who destroy data to protest use of GMOs or pesticides. Farm-level data may also be vulnerable to ransomware and data destruction, the FBI said. Agriculture is also rife with pre-Internet era technologies that were developed and deployed without much thought to security. As […]


What is the cybersecurity threat in agriculture? And is it lurking behind every corn stalk?

“The trust in the food chain starts in the dirt and ends on the table,” says Dale Meyerrose, retired Air Force major general and the first chief information officer for the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). At the recent PrecisionAg Vision Conference he said, “Whenever you use technology to create value, it presents an opportunity for an evil-doer to exploit it. Most compromises and data losses are created by the user’s own behavior. The idea that there are cyber criminals out there who are highly trained and skilled is more myth than fact. Most cybersecurity breaches are done with a phishing email or from […]


AR’s Potential in the Supply chain

While the consumer-facing side of augmented and virtual reality (AR, VR) is gaining exposure through companies like Facebook’s Oculus, Samsung, and HTC Vive, some businesses are looking to the technology to revolutionize supply-chain issues. This is because it could enable supply-chain managers to more easily visualize complex logistical problems. Dr. Matthias Winkenbach at MIT offers two examples of how the technology could be used: It could make traffic simulations and data indexes more digestible. A supply-chain manager could interact with 3D renderings of traffic simulations to inspect everything from items being shipped, to customer addresses, to real-time weather conditions. It could make […]


Internet of Things Inc. launches program with North American universities to drive new products

Internet of Things Inc., a Toronto-based IoT software and solutions provider, is capitalizing on leading-edge R&D and commercially available technology to accelerate its product development cycle. “We are very excited about working with leading universities to buildout our next-generation IoT technologies and products,” said IoT Inc.’s CEO Michael Frank. “We believe these partnerships will accelerate our growth strategy in both China and North America. We have had conversations with institutions in Ontario, Alberta, British Colombia, California and Pennsylvania.” As part of this initiative, IoT Inc. will look at acquiring products or services near commercialization which the universities’ commercialization offices have […]


Connected farms reap rewards

An agricultural solution with a machine learning component, irrigNET, was piloted two years ago to help a sugar factory grow sugar beets. IrrigNet sensors measure the water content in soil, and then combines that data with the models of the crops and local weather forecast to take the guesswork out of crop irrigation. With it, managers can also remotely monitor field conditions and use predictive data analytics tools to optimize water use for increase crop yield, while also reducing soil erosion. On top of the 30% increase brought by irrigation, irrigNET cites additional yield increases and reductions in water use […]


IoT technology transforms the fruits of farmers’ labors

Enhanced crop management is crucial because food production consumes natural resources and faces constant threats. About 70% of the world’s freshwater use goes toward growing crops, yet up to 40% of crops are destroyed by weeds, diseases, and insects. DunavNET, a Microsoft partner in Serbia, uses IoT technology to better equip food growers to know when to irrigate, how to control diseases, and where to fight pests. For example, last year the company helped a large ag company track its annual harvest at one of Europe’s largest apple orchards. It tracked the location of every pallet box in real time to ensure fruit’s […]


From farm to robot to fork: How IoT is moving us towards “agriculture 4.0”

At last November’s IoT World Europe conference in Dublin, Richard Johnson, director of product marketing at John Deere, described modern agriculture as “agriculture 4.0.” Harvesters are already (to a certain extent) semi-autonomous, while in dairy farming the process has become substantially computer-driven. Right now, John Deere’s focus on IoT remains within the area of guidance, such as devices like AutoTrac Vision cameras, which align a crop sprayer with rows of crops to prevent any getting crushed and harming a farmer’s revenues. The next big step is connecting machines, connecting fields and connecting operators. For example, one or two forager machines on […]


Community Support: Chamber of Commerce Healthcare Advisory Board

I’m pleased to serve for the third year on the Boise Metro Chamber’s healthcare committee. We provide insight and advocacy for medical interests. At our last month’s meeting, two key members of the state legislature exchanged updates with us, and sought our views on the complex issues facing healthcare today. The industry leaders from across healthcare providers, insurers, associations, and manufacturers engaged in sharing information, evaluating options, and recommending actions. We hope this board can continue to help us maintain our city’s and state’s strong standing as a healthy community that attracts more businesses.