From Farm to Screen: Microsoft Supports Land O’Lakes with Agricultural Data

microsoft agricultural dataFamers used to rely solely on natural indicators to help nurture their farms to the best of their abilities. Now there is a bountiful market for farming technology. Microsoft and agricultural data will now offer farmers with AI, cloud, and IoT to provide more accurate information systems.

In the past 20 years, computer modeling, trials, and algorithms have provided farmers with collected data on various aspects of farms, such as soil moisture. Microsoft and agricultural data are taking these analyses to new levels.

The Cream of the Crop

Microsoft is not alone in bringing cutting edge technology to the agricultural world. One of the nation’s largest farmer-owned co-ops, Land O’Lakes is bringing its farming expertise to the table. The co-op is comprised of 150 million acres of cropland and an abundance of 300,000 producers consisting of about half of the fields harvested in America.

Microsoft and Agricultural Data

Microsoft and Land O’Lakes announced on Wednesday, July 15th, that the companies are forming a strategic alliance that will bring modern innovations, increase sustainability for farmers, strengthen the supply chain, and bridge the rural broadband divide.

Together these companies are mutually beneficial. Land O’Lakes is planning to mitigate its IT infrastructure onto Microsoft Azure and in turn, Microsoft will become the cloud provider for Land O’Lakes. However, the partnership does not stop there.

Closing the Rural Divide

“Microsoft and Land O’Lakes will develop a connected “AgTech” platform built on Microsoft Azure. The new platform will combine Land O’Lakes’ portfolio of tech tools, such as WinField United’s R7 Suite, Data Silo and Truterra Insights Engine, under one unified architecture.” These tech tools help derive valuable insight into crops, soil, weather, field health, and much more. Other intelligent agricultural developments will include plant stress detections to guide farmers in where their field may need more attention or other actions; assistance in fertilizer needs, seed nutrients and variety suggestions, calculating demand/output ratio, and reducing the overall carbon footprint.

An initiative coined “Digital Dairy” will include AI analytics to produce various datasets for factors such as feeding management, animal health, and weather conditions. Another benefit of Digital Dairy will be that the farms in rural areas will have more access to broadband solutions. Agricultural data will experience major improvements with the partnership of Microsoft and Land O’Lakes. 

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Author: Valerie Stephen