Article

Bring out your data

Published: 24 February, 2017

Do you have a big challenge that you want to solve?  The solution might be in your data – if you were able to process it effectively –  or potentially there are wider industry, agronomic or environmental datasets that may hold the answers.   Agri-Tech East is determined to bring together those with the questions with specialists that have the expertise to crunch the data.

We are saying ‘Bring out your data’ at this Big Data workshop and there will be data analysis experts on hand to help farmers and others see how data gained in different ways can provide new insights once combined.

After presenting several short case-studies, data experts including Agrimetrics, Smith Institute and Institute for Environmental Analytics will be asking farmers about what they want to discover from their data.

David Flanders, CEO of AgrimetricsPhotographs of canopy cover is the way that David Flanders (pictured left), CEO of Agrimetrics, says that imaging can be used to help potato growers. The images captured by smartphone or other devices can be used to predict yield. He says: “Information about metrology, soil characteristics and varietal data is used to inform a model. If the farmer is able to provide the date of emergence and photograph the canopy using a mobile phone then the system is able to give a yield prediction.”

Colin McKinnon, CEO of IEAFrequently asked questions?

Colin McKinnon (pictured right), CEO of the Institute for Environmental Analytics, says analysing text messages was the way his organisation helped agriculture start-up ‘WeFarm’ to further improve its peer to peer advice service for small-scale farmers in developing countries. He explains: “We analysed their data traffic to look for patterns and find out which questions were regularly being asked by farmers. For example, ‘the monsoon is particularly long this year – what’s going to happen to my yield?’ or ‘there has been little rain, what should I plant next season?’

“Presentation is very important in data visualisation. It has to be intuitive, so we used word clouds to illustrate the most common topics in approximately 160,000 messages.”

Read more about the IEA’s agri-tech work here.

Maths and Icebergs

Dr Cristina SargentThe Smith Institute is currently working with G’s Growers on a model to reduce waste in the production of Iceberg lettuces, using G’s own data to develop optimal production schedules and a ‘what if’ scenario engine to help consider different management strategies. The model will help G’s Growers to mitigate against potential shortfalls in crop availability.

Business Development Manager Dr Cristina Sargent (pictured left) comments: “Maths can be used to solve real life problems. We have in-depth conversations with a prospective client to understand the challenge they are facing and what they would like to achieve. We will then design a solution which may be a combination of models, algorithms and data.”

Read more from Cristina here.

Bring Out Your Data!

Data analysts from these leading organisations will be available to discuss with farmers, agri-businesses and other interested parties how to integrate data to extract value. As the UK’s first and largest agri-tech membership organisation, Agri-Tech East is the ideal catalyst.

Agri-Tech East’s Big Data SIG ‘Bring Out Your Data’ will be held on 21 March at Lawes Innovation Hub, Rothamsted Research, in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. If you wish to benefit from data analytics, please register for the event on our events page.