By Mike Stern
President and Chief Operating Officer, The Climate Corporation and Vice-President, Monsanto
(Originally published in Beyond the Rows)
The 1940s ushered in the first wave of what is now called the Green Revolution, which brought significant advancements in plant breeding. This era was quickly followed by additional waves of innovation in advanced breeding and biotechnology, which helped reduce risk and increase food production. The advances seen in the Green Revolution helped us to feed more than 2 billion people who joined our population over that time.
Today, we believe that we’re on the cusp of another important wave of innovation, the Green Data Revolution, which will use data and digital technologies to help farmers produce more while optimizing the use of natural resources. It will be key in helping to feed the next 2 billion people on Earth.
Innovation in agriculture was a hot topic at the recent Economist Innovation Forum in Chicago. I joined a Q&A session at the event to share my thoughts on the potential for the Green Data Revolution to improve our ability to sustainably feed a growing population.
At Monsanto, we are at the forefront of this data revolution in agriculture, applying the same technologies that have revolutionized communications, information gathering and logistics in recent decades to improve farmers’ operations. We’re using data science and digital technologies to develop sophisticated agronomic models that generate data-driven insights that farmers can use proactively to make decisions to improve the productivity of their farm. We’re actively collaborating with farmers to evolve our innovative platform to help them make daily decisions based on weather, soil and crop information, and to respond quickly to changing weather and field conditions. Farmers can optimize the use of inputs, maximize yields and proactively manage risk with these tools.
As our population expands further, innovation in agriculture will continue to play a key role in ensuring there is enough food for everyone. I look forward to continued collaboration in this space, and to finding new ways for data science to drive better outcomes for global agriculture.