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Monitoring an Ear of Corn with an IoT Sensor? By @KRBenedict | @ThingsExpo #IoT

Globally, we will need to feed 8 billion people by 2030 and 9 billion by 2050

Once upon a time, farmers would walk through a field or ride a horse around it to determine the amount of fertilizer and water their crops required.  I have done this myself.  Today agricultural drones with sensors and analysis software can fly over large fields and analyze the crops and their needs precisely in seconds.  If we wanted to get even more ambitious, we could place an IoT (Internet of Things) sensor next to every stalk of corn to monitor and optimize its growth.  Although these steps are all feasible today, some are not yet economically advantageous.  That might, however, soon change.  In the past, we treated crops in aggregate. Today, we can customize how we treat each section of a crop due to the benefits of sensors.

Globally, we will need to feed 8 billion people by 2030 and 9 billion by 2050.  The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) projects that, under current production and consumption trends, global food production must increase 60 percent by 2050 in order to meet the demands of the growing world population.  That's only 35 years away!!!

Another fact, over 25-40% of our food spoils or is lost before it can be consumed (source http://www.foodwastealliance.org/about-our-work/assessment/).  This is a massive amount of waste and inefficiency that no one wants and IoT sensors can help us reduce food waste.

Do you see, as I do, the need for a digital transformation in agriculture, food processing and delivery? The Internet of Things is not just the newest gadget for us to play with, it can mean the difference between life and death for many people.  Data collected through sensors and analyzed to help optimize growth, harvesting, processing, delivery and consumption may just be the solution we need.


Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
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Kevin Benedict serves as the Senior Vice President, Solutions Strategy, at Regalix, a Silicon Valley based company, focused on bringing the best strategies, digital technologies, processes and people together to deliver improved customer experiences, journeys and success through the combination of intelligent solutions, analytics, automation and services. He is a popular writer, speaker and futurist, and in the past 8 years he has taught workshops for large enterprises and government agencies in 18 different countries. He has over 32 years of experience working with strategic enterprise IT solutions and business processes, and he is also a veteran executive working with both solution and services companies. He has written dozens of technology and strategy reports, over a thousand articles, interviewed hundreds of technology experts, and produced videos on the future of digital technologies and their impact on industries.