I recently attended the PrecisionAg Vision Conference in Seattle. The event offers attendees a clear look at the changes that are likely to transform their businesses in the next 3-5 years. About 200 people attended the conference, including many from the Western U.S. According to PrecisionAg, more than 135 organizations were represented at the conference. Participants were mostly founders or directors of strategic positions of these companies, which were from diverse segments of agriculture. Universities researchers and representatives of farmer associations were also present. One of the main attractions of the event, pointed out by participants, is the networking opportunity. Here are my key takeaways:
1. Microsoft Immersing Itself in Digital Farming
Microsoft hosted a pre-conference summit titled IoT for Earth, which offered insight into the pending launch of the Microsoft platform for digital agriculture. Their solution will be released under the name FarmBeats and the purpose of the presentation was to arouse the interest of potential partners. According to the company, the platform seeks to make available Microsoft’s tools, especially the Azure platform, to partners who have expertise and experience in the agricultural market. Microsoft’s development team presented several technologies as possible building blocks of this platform. These include the development of protocols for data transmission between sensors using the unallocated spaces of the television frequencies. More details can be found on their website.