Smart Crop Data Platform
Helping agricultural researchers make better models and serve their insights to farmers
The agriculture sector has many different stakeholders, from farmers to suppliers and researchers to supermarkets. What all have in common is a large amount of data which contain useful insights and, if utilised efficiently, can benefit everyone. In collaboration with Rothamsted Research, we created a platform and workflows that utilise the group’s expertise and existing strength in infrastructure by leveraging high-performance computing (HPC) and Big Data technology.
The result is built on IBM Research’s geo-spatial data repository PAIRS, which provides a central data store where data is aligned, indexed and retrieved quickly through a powerful data spatiotemporal query engine. On top of this, we built additional apps and services, either for researchers to analyse their data or to inform stakeholders about latest trends and forecasts.
With moth migration data from Rothamsted Research, we can store data efficiently in PAIRS, query relevant data as model input for moth migration predictions and inform farmers depending on weather conditions when moths are expected.
We demonstrated how we can combine Rothamsted’s insect observation data with different models that incorporate weather patterns to prediction insect migration routes and provide forecasts about the arrival of insects in any given location. Such forecasts can allow farmers to make informed decisions about the amount and schedule for pesticide usage, significantly reducing costs and maximising yields. This is just one of the many examples where an easy-to-use geo-spatial data platform can provide real benefits in the real world.