Q & A With Global Technology Leader: Steve Laughlin

02:37PM Nov 04, 2019
Steve Laughlin
Steve Laughlin: Vice President and General Manager, Global Consumer Industry IBM
( Provided by Steve Laughlin )

What are the opportunities for tech in ag?

The increasing pervasiveness of artificial intelligence (AI) along with the availability of contextual data sources such as satellite imagery, hyperlocal weather forecasts and the Internet of Things (IoT) ensure the industry has begun its transformation journey.

Applications such as precision agriculture, connected farms and supply chains have all started to make an impact on the ground and there’s a lot more to come.

The weather in 2019 threw major curveballs to farmers. Tell us about IBM’s weather data footprint and some of the innovation coming.

The Weather Company, an IBM business, delivers personalized, actionable insights to consumers and businesses by combining the world’s most accurate weather data with industry leading AI, IoT data and analytics technologies. Weather data packages help food producers and processors reduce costs, improve safety and drive revenue by providing insights that anticipate the unique impact of weather on each business.

The Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture consumes data from millions of sources and correlates past weather events to current forecasts for the most accurate three-day forecast globally. It’s able to provide not only weather data but also soil moisture, temperature and evapotranspiration data in high resolution. The platform will improve the future of food and crops as it embeds a global version of its cognitive tools for agriculture.

What is the No. 1 thing farmers need to know about technology?

Today’s technology can improve yields substantially as it has the capability to monitor farms in real time using purely remote-sensing capabilities without the need to install any sensors in the ground. The best digital advice will come from a collaboration between these remote-sensing capabilities and local sensing solutions increasingly available on farming assets (harvesters, cellphones and local weather stations). This technology can superimpose critical inputs on top of the farmer’s field, relating the exact state of the farm and options for what to do next.


Go-To Source For Tech Among The Rows And In The Cab And Office

Farm Journal's AgTech Expo

Dec. 16-17, 2019
JW Marriott
Indianapolis, Ind.

In addition to keynote speakers Steve Laughlin and Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie, the event will feature 30 breakout sessions. For details on the topics, visit FarmJournalAgTechExpo.com