Farmers are looking for information to help them grow more with fewer resources and less environmental impact. The “Internet of Things” — in the form of cheap sensors to measure water and soil composition — could help them do that. You’d have to work hard to make a breakthrough improvement on the smartphone at this point. But it’s a lot easier to improve farms, since farmers are still using distinctly analog methods to understand what’s going on in their fields — like burying blocks of gypsum in the ground to measure their soil moisture.
When New York Times technology writer Steve Lohr visited a conference on the Internet of Things, in San Jose, Calif., he noted a particular potential for farm tech. Venture capitalists have invested $2.06 billion in farm startups so far in 2015, which means they’ll likely surpass the $2.36 billion they invested in 2014, according to Lohr.
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