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The Power of the Precision Agriculture Platform and Datafication on the Farm: A Case Study of Climate FieldView in Canada

Authors: Sarah Marquis*, University of Guelph
Topics: Agricultural Geography, Cyberinfrastructure, Food Systems
Keywords: big data, precision agriculture, digital farming
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

As the world contends with a digital revolution, technology is transforming the way Canadian farmers interact with the environment. Precision agriculture, for example GPS technologies, robotic milkers and yield mapping, allow farmers to use technology to tailor management to different fields, or different livestock. These technologies can collect data about microclimates, yields, soil composition, livestock health and many other parameters on the farm. As technological limitations of farming operations become increasingly surmountable, vast amounts of diverse and disparate agricultural data (Big Data) can be generated, collected, stored and analyzed. These analyses, performed by precision agriculture platforms, can transform data into economically valuable insights. My research explores the ways in which the emergence of Big Data in the agricultural sector in Canada is changing power dynamics within food production systems and supply chains. With the rise in popularity and use of precision agriculture platforms on farms across North America, questions arise around the issues of agricultural data storage, privacy, and governance. My project explores the perception and impact of one particular digital precision agriculture technology platform, Climate FieldView. Climate FieldView is now owned by Bayer, the largest agrochemical firm in the world. My research is a case study of Bayer’s Climate FieldView and explores the ways in which Canadian crop farmers’ rights, access and ownership of agricultural data are affected by this precision agriculture platform.

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