a16z Podcast: Data Down on the Farm

 

Farmers are among the best hackers in the business. They can fix anything, and are endlessly tweaking their approach to a business that is up against the strongest force on the planet: nature.

As adopters of technology, the agriculture industry is both forward-thinking and, at the same time, hard to convince to make a change. For good reason — you can’t A/B-test an almond orchard. You get one shot a year to grow a crop and make a profit. So whatever technology makes its way into the fields had better work.

U.C. Santa Barbara computer science professor Chandra Krintz, Granular CEO and co-founder Sid Gorham, and Fruition Sciences co-founder Thibaut Scholasch join this segment of the a16z Podcast to discuss technologies working down on the farm. Including how sensors monitoring soil elements, water flow in plants, and fertilizer schedules are yielding fruitful data. Given the high stakes — a planet in the midst of climate change — what we can all learn from how technology is accepted and implemented in the agriculture industry?