A recent study found that any change in the decision of crop growers, significantly affects the complete supply chain of said crop. The study elaborated, sighting an example of production of broccoli stating that a 5% decline in the production of broccoli would damage 90% of the production, as it may go unconsumed.

In order to provide a solution to the above issue, IBM has come up with a new artificial intelligence-based technology named “Watson Decision Platform” for Internet of Things applications in Agriculture. This is expected to overcome the instability in the market due to the unpredictable growth of crops. The technology combines the internet of things, cloud computing solutions and of course the latest and widely adopted AI technologies. This technology will generate insights into the production through an evidence-based approach.

The company has made the new technology available as part of its managed services, as well as part of its new collection of tools that come pre-packaged. The offering is designed for effective marketing, human resources, manufacturing, and customer services. IBM  understands the complexities of farming, as a farmer has to rely on ever-changing nature, climates, and seasons for making decisions on which crops to cultivate. Farmers do not haphazardly cultivate crops. In fact, farmers carefully choose crops that are conducive to growing in given climate conditions. This new technology will enable effective prediction of the crops and cultivation, as it will consider data gathered from the equipment from the farm, considering the environmental conditions, and technology deployment in cultivation for making the prediction on what may be the best choice of the farmers.

The farmers or growers will also be able to utilize the Watson AI technology for making concrete decisions in choosing which crop to cultivate. This tool will also provide an insight of crop yield by considering soil temperature, crop stress, diseases, moisture levels, and pests. To get a complete understanding of the crop yield, farmers will have to deploy drones, which will scan the crops and send the photos to IBM for a better evaluation. Close-up images of the crops will also help the growers know of any pest outbreak affecting the crops.

This latest technology is likely to be a tremendous help to growers cultivating on a vast scale. It will help the growers know the estimated time of harvest and market returns on a global scale. The technology is also promising in a way that it will improve the methods deployed by the growers for irrigation, fertilization, and planting. The Watson Decision Platform makes use of AI technology that can also advise on the safety of the workers working in the field.

This is not IBM‘s first foray into the agriculture sector. The company has worked on many agricultural machine-learning projects, which include IBM Pair Geoscope and AgroPad. Its AI tools are focused on enhancing consumers’ satisfaction while supporting producers to make sound decisions. The AgroPad is an AI-based technology used to analyze soil and water of a given area. The IBM Pair Geoscope analyzes satellite imagery and data related to weather and climate conditions. IBM is one of the key large-scale innovating companies that are adopting AI for advancement and sound decision-making practices.