Is ‘big data’ agriculture’s shiny new tractor of the future?


Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) Conference – 30th October 2019 at the East of England Arena and Events Centre, Peterborough

This is the question that will be tackled at the Institution of Agricultural Engineers 2019 conference – ‘Can big data lead to smarter farming’?

Throughout this century there has been a rapid rise in the amount of data being collected throughout the agricultural supply chain.  Farmers are gathering huge amounts of data, for example using sensors and mobile apps to analyse soil samples, and cameras and drones to monitor pests and diseases.

But how can farmers, agribusinesses and researchers gain real value from this ‘big data’?

The UK agricultural industry should be harnessing this data to support future decision-making at the field and farm level, but experts report that 90 per cent of data collected is being wasted.

IAgrE President, Professor Jane Rickson pictured said:

“This conference will explore whether ‘big data’ can help deliver the ‘sustainable intensification’ of agriculture, by bringing about increased agricultural production as well as better protection of the environment. We have lined up an outstanding range of speakers to make this a highly relevant and exciting event”

The conference will explore how ‘big data’ is being used to improve agricultural practices and how farmers and technologists should work together to extract the real value from the wealth of data being collected. The conference will also identify future development opportunities.

The programme includes:

  • Benjamin Turner, Chief Operating Officer of Agrimetrics talking about the role of’ big data’ in unlocking previously unimaginable solutions to feeding the world.
  • Practical lessons from the farm about how big data will transform agriculture. The speaker will be Oliver Wood, Precision Technology Manager with Omnia Precision Agronomy
  • Dr Joachim Stiegemann of Claas Product Management talking about the next generation of the Claas Lexion combine harvester and how data collection will contribute to smarter farming.
  • How the Internet of Things has morphed into the Internet of Agri-things. The speaker will be from a major Software company
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering will speak about developments in the use of artificial intelligence, imagery and data analytics from satellite, drone, plane and robot technology.
  • Cranfield University and Harper Adams University will talk about ‘big data’ in the arable and livestock sectors, the use of sensor technologies and the ethical dilemmas around data collection.
  • Lincoln University’s use of big data to support autonomous systems and agri-robots.

To find out more about the conference and how to sign up go to:



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