@ Refugee from Windblowz ... Re: Not exactly a developing market
Not only is it not a new idea or concept, its not even a viable one.
IT in Ag makes sense in a couple of applications.
1) Farm equipment automation.
2) Soil testing / sampling
3) data tracking... from birth to store.
Just to name a few.
The farm equipment can be automated due to the use of GPS w ground station. This will help reduce labor costs and will help with labor shortages. (Certain farm work is back breaking and not many people are willing to do it. )
Add to this the ability to test soil around the farm and you can better tune your fertilizer use as well as join this data with farm yields. Could even help improve some of the organic methods on the farms.
In terms of data tracking, some numb nutz wanted to create collars and then beam the data up to a data center to track the animals so that they could monitor the health of the animals. The issue is that you need to wire your farm. So how much do you think it will cost to wire up a 300+ acre farm with wi-fi? and then transmitters back to your central access point? Not cheap or easy. Not to mention the potential for theft. Then there's a question about what value do you get? If the animal is sick you could provide meds earlier, but again at what cost? Especially when you consider that you have cows that sometimes ignore their calfs (especially first time cows), delivery isn't always easy and cows and calf can die. Calf gets ill from mother's milk... on average you can lose up to 4 calfs and a couple of cows a year. (Depending on varmints) The cost of the tech far exceeds the benefits.
But tracking data is a bit different.
You can buy cheap RFID tags. You can monitor the cows, what you feed them, weight, and what meds you give them when you work the herd twice a year. This would help to establish and certify good farming practices.
Sorry, but there are limits and the smaller farmers can't afford to waste money because the benefits just aren't there. (Outside of the examples I gave)
This comes from practical experience where I am in IT and while father-in-law was alive, he lived on a farm and I 'volunteered' to work the herd as well as invest in a couple of his bulls to help grow the herd.
There is too much hype and when you crunch the numbers... it doesn't work.