With IoT, agribusiness starts structuring its data

The trend in agribusiness is in the fine analysis of the data. Very fine even: upstream, it is “to identify needs to the square centimeter. This precision requires linking the information on the soil, weather or insects present to adapt the crop variety to the cultivated area. Traceability, ensuring transparency of the food chain, also requires data sharing, from production to  distribution “, details Amandine Bannery, marketing and agricultural communication manager at the French sugar cooperative group Tereos.

The data is still little exploited in the sector. Microsoft understands it. On 17 January, the American group announced a partnership with the French agricultural cooperative group InVivo to develop a platform dedicated to the agri-food industry. “InVivo has plenty of data, but today we do not know how to use them,” admitted during the announcement Thierry Blandinières, its managing director. The Bonduelle group  , through the voice of its chief digital officer Marie-Charlotte Bouchery, also confided in December 2018, during the IoT Week in Lille, encounter difficulties in using the data to obtain reliable information. “The IoT is involved in strategic choices but we must know how to cross the information to make the right decision, “warns Paolin Pascot, president of Agriconomie, French e-commerce site specializing in the sale of fertilizer, seeds and agricultural equipment.

In this process of crossing data,  connected objects represent a first lever to automate the collection of data. Charge to IoT platforms, like that of the American company Climate Fieldview, to aggregate it and cross the most relevant information. “A wheat producer in the Marne has been able to homogenize the protein content of his production and thus meet his specifications by relating the amount of fertilizer according to the number of plants evaluated on his plot,” says Tristan Guilbot , business manager in France of Climate Fieldview.