After an exciting week at the 2019 InfoAg conference, which saw over 1,200 agriculture innovators flock to St. Louis, Missouri for one of the most important events in the industry calendar, one of the things that struck me most is how diverse and complex the precision ag space is.
Iteris teams from the U.S. and Europe were in attendance and all reported having some very engaging conversations with so many of the crop protection, equipment, irrigation and farm management systems companies that attended the event, which gave us all a collective sense of optimism for the way the industry is heading.
As we reflect on another successful conference, I wanted to share some personal takeaways and highlights:
- Integration is key
There is so much great agricultural technology out there, from software to sensors to imagery, that it can be overwhelming to figure out how it all fits together. I had numerous conversations on this topic, and people talked to me about the need to take the disparate flows of data and weave them together into a coherent and meaningful set of information. Data integration is core to what we do at Iteris ClearAg. From the foundation of our system, state-of-the-science, ag-focused weather, to our models, indices and analytics, we pride ourselves on identifying and accessing the most relevant data (in whatever form it is available) and creating insights that enable our customers to make better decisions.
- E-intelligence is resonating strongly
For many years, Iteris ClearAg has been providing environmental data, modeling and analysis to the agricultural value chain. As we continue to develop more tailored offerings for our target customers in segments including crop science, equipment, allied providers and food, we call these tailored offerings E-intelligence. By understanding and acting on the environment (E), we help our customers unlock the potential of genetics (G) and management (M). In this way, our customers can optimize the three components of the classic agronomic equation: with ag productivity a function of G x E x M. In our conversations at InfoAg, this notion of E-intelligence really resonated with people. They realized that our E-intelligence enables them to take action today, and actionable intelligence is exciting and differentiating in the ag tech industry today.
- Indices are the future
We used our conversations at InfoAg to formally launch our latest form of E-intelligence – indices. Indices allow our customers to visualize large amounts of complex information across multiple locations to understand things like how similar or different locations are environmentally, how representative environmental conditions are relative to the norm, how prone locations are to disease or pest risk, and how optimal conditions are for specific crop stages such as emergence and grain fill. There is so much agricultural data out there and even more generated every day, but the challenge is to make meaning out of the data and take action. As we talk with people about our indices, they see how these tools create meaning and simplify complexity to enable insight and action.
The Bottom Line
There is a lot to be optimistic about in the digital agriculture space. New technologies continue to emerge, and existing technologies keep getting better. The challenge for all of us is to focus on the technologies that provide insight, enable better decisions and catalyze action across agriculture. From my seat at Iteris ClearAg, I see so much opportunity for E-intelligence to do just that for our current customers and for those with whom we are just starting the conversation.
About the Author
Joel Lipsitch is vice president of sales, Agriculture and Weather Analytics at Iteris.
Connect with Joel on LinkedIn.