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The Farm of the Future Demands Digital

September 19, 2019
  • Farmers are incorporating digital technology to optimize production

  • Dairy cow facial recognition, animal feed formulation software, and cloud-based platforms are already changing farm operations – for the better.

  • Big data increases efficiency and makes food production more sustainable.


The past few years have ushered in incredible, unforeseen growth in technology. Today, real-time data is being captured, analyzed and used to inform decisions. Decisions can be made more quickly, with more information to support them.

Sometimes digital means apps and high-tech sensors. This challenges farmers to think bigger, beyond the technology and into the valuable insights real-time data can generate to inform decisions.

Here's how emerging technologies are already changing the way farms operate:

  • Dairy cow hide pattern identification and facial recognition tracks key health indicators, enabling the animal to tell the producer what it needs before a producer can recognize those needs him or herself.
  • Animal feed formulation software is designed to calculate more optimized, precise feed and nutrient recommendations.
  • Management tools are customized, putting animal requirements and nutrient supply in the context of individual beef operations.
  • Digital nutrition software seamlessly connects data and analytics to make smarter decisions when testing, creating, managing and supplying animal nutrition for all species. 
  • A cloud-based platform combines production and environmental data with a self-learning feature to provide better insights and recommendations to shrimp producers.

The people who grow our food are applying new technologies and big data to deliver powerful insights – insights that allow producers to reduce the time they spend analyzing outcomes to make decisions, maximize the resources they need to produce healthy, nutritious food, and streamline their operations and business processes so they can spend more time caring for the animals they raise.

They become more efficient. And food production becomes more sustainable. The farm of the future depends on digital insights to feed the world.

“Data is the new frontier of our global economy,” said SriRaj Kantamneni, Cargill’s Digital Insights managing director. “It’s no longer a ‘choice,’ it’s an imperative.”