The American farm may not be the first spot you’d expect to be disrupted by big data, but today’s farmers are already heavily utilizing new technologies to monitor their crops.
Jesse Vollmar, founder and CEO of FarmLogs, told TechCrunch’s Jon Shieber that his product, which helps farmers track and report metrics like heat accumulation, rainfall and soil composition, is being used on a third of farms across the United States.
“At FarmLogs we believe that data science is the next big wave of evolution on the farm. Today farmer’s are faced with this incredible challenge of increasing food production without getting any more land, so were going to have to accomplish massive efficiencies on the farm,” Vollmar told the crowd at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.
Farmers can’t afford to lead low-tech operations anymore, as the industry rapidly evolves to rely more heavily on huge amounts of data. One major issue with agtech is that Silicon Valley has a tough time relating to the needs of farmers. Vollmar is a little bit more familiar than some; he grew up on a fifth-generation family farm before moving into tackling enterprise software.
Vollmar teased a new device onstage Tuesday that will make it easier than ever for farmers to feed their farm’s data into FarmLogs. It plugs directly into the combine and uploads the data it gathers over a data connection. The company’s pursuing a subscription model and charging farmers $750 per year for the device.
All landscapes are not created equal and the solutions that target one farm are certainly not going to be effective for others. Vollmar said that where FarmLogs really continues to shine is in allowing farmers to “quantify the variability on their fields” and pursue solutions that work best for their specific needs.