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Critical Discussion On Digital Farming Strategy


Task: Case Study- 1 Students need to answer the case study which is relevant to Business information sy


1. As put forwarded by (Gopsillet al. 2014, p. 71) with regards to the digital farming strategy, information technology is gaining significant attention in reshaping the farming and agricultural industry in the global business world. Based on the case study, the following are the technologies that assist farmers with digital farming strategy to provide instructions and manage equipment in the field.

AutoTracGlobal Positioning System (GPS)-controlled assisted-steering systems
It is a satellite-based navigation system that is used to assist tractors in the field through earth-orbiting satellite, resulting in efficient tracking of tractor’s location. Additionally, the tracking device enables the hoses to distribute the required amount of fertilizers. The farmers can easily monitor the movements and progress of the tractors through the devices using the application developed for tablet computers and mobile devices, (Xin and Zazueta, 2016, p. 276).This technology based on digital farming strategy assists farmers to enable equipment operators to take their hands off the wheel as well as enables machinery to upload the data automatically about fields to mobile devices and tablets. Furthermore, the farmers can download fertilizingand planting instructions which are also known as precision agriculture.

This technology basis digital farming strategy assists to analyze the variables including variation in phosphorous content, soil nitrogen, amount of sunlight, and shade required for an area less than 10 meters grid. These variables are combined with the genetic properties of seeds, climate predictions, and delivers appropriate planting instructions in the field. On the other hand, (Hennessyet al. 2016, p. 490) also stated that technologies such as FieldScripts assist farmers to comprehend the areas thatrequire fertilizer saving them the cost for fertilizer and time. This results inefficientagriculture and farming with higher productivity.

Other than that, Monsanto and DuPont are also offering prescriptive planting and precision agriculture systems for farmers to increase productivity by providing real tie information and genetic seeds.

2. It has been well stated by (Fleming et al. 2018, p. 24) with regards to the digital farming
strategy that the advancement in technology has led U.S. farms to transform into digital farmswithin the present competitive environment. Additionally, farming operations have been highly self-sufficient and reliable, enabling farmers to monitor field conditions and equipment through applications on theirphones and tablets. On the other hand, (Kennedy et al. 2016, p. 1204) also argued that prescriptive planting utilizes data provided by the farmers based on soil conditions, field boundaries, and historic crop yields for data analysis by the companies which are utilized for recommending instructions. The fear of loss of data to rival agricultural farmers can create a significant issue for the farmers.

However, companies like Dupont and Monsanto are integrating industry standards for managing information gathered from fields and farmers. It has been accounted that these companies have sold 70% of all corn seed to the U.S. that highlights the acceptance and growth of interests of farmers towards prescriptive planting. Likewise, (Nambisan, 2017, p. 1031) stated that the U.S. agricultural industry has been ever-growing with the integration of technology as it assists to deliver seed-planting recommendations along with integrity and security of information. This, in turn, results in profits that farmers can gain from selling their crops in futures as well as minimizes any risks of bets on future contracts. Hence, the use of technology within farming and agriculture is evident and offered success within the U.S.

3. Information technology has become one of the integral partsof every business around the global world, (Klerkxet al. 2019, p.100315). Additionally, IT has opened up opportunities for new products and services, enhancing operational efficiencies. Its integration in the farming and agricultural industry has significantly changed the way farmers to run their business. The data collected from self-driving tractors, aircraft, and other forms of remote and automated sensors deliver data to farmers about soil quality, crop yields, and soil moisture content. Other than that, information technology is also assisting farmers to save time and money while increasing crop yields and profits.

Likewise, (Shchutskayaet al. 2020, p.278) also stated that prescriptive planning takes the heavy workload of farmers including work out of harvesting and planting crops, maximizing crop yields, and productivity. The amount of fertilizer and seed required for the field are well highlighted to the farmers through phones and tablets for enhancing the average crop harvest. This in turn significantly assists to increase profits. On the other hand, the integration of precision agriculture system enables farmers to use the resources efficiently and by monitoring the machinery, the farmers can ensure production is up to expectation through the use of tractor cabs.

As argued by (Braun et al. 2018, p. 981), irrespective of the efficiency of precisions agriculture, the investment required for automated tractors and combines machinery is relatively high for smaller farms compared to the larger farms. Hence, technology has a significant impact on agriculture and farming but the affordability of such means is highly complex. Likewise, prescription planting also assists farmers to gain knowledge about the field conditions by analyzing the decisions suitable for them. The reliability of seed dealers and agriculture companies has been increasing for farmers to enhance production. The use of prescription planting can result in a harvest of corn to more than 200 bushels an acre compared to 160 bushels currently. However, the risks and threat of losing data by their competitors is a significant issue in prescription planting, (Weltzien, 2016, p. 66).

4. As put forwarded by (Friess, 2016, p. 91), agricultural companies including Monsanto delivers a critical analysis of the condition of farming. These agricultural firms provide significant knowledge to the farmers which can assist to make informed decisions to increase production. The first decision supported by precision agriculture systems is it provides data about field including information about sunlight, the genetic property of seeds, soil condition, and other relevant information. For instance, the precision agriculture systemsoffer advice to the farmers about the favourable and unfavourable areas of the field that assist them to decrease and increase the amount of seed in the particular area, resulting in highest yield and profitThe areas that require machinery including tractor and combine are well highlighted through the system which assists the farmers to comprehend the viability of areas in the fields along with ease in operation.

The second decision supported by precision agriculture systems isthe purchase of new technology.Theprecision agriculture systemsrequire farms to utilize modern tractors or customize the existing planting equipment so that the instruction can be provided to the tractor. The GPS integrated into precision agriculture enables farmers to decide the areas that require harvesting and planting, resulting in informed decision-making abilities, (Ratten, 2018, p. 56).Hence, the decisionsto purchase the new technology is made easy through the system. The third decision supported by precision agriculture systems is climate prediction. Monsanto charges $15 an acre additionally to offer services for climate prediction to the farmers. This, in turn, offers farmers with essential data about favourable and unfavourableplanting conditions which certainly eases the time and effort of decisions, (Walteret al. 2017, p. 6149).

5. The inclusion of digital farming strategy could be effective in farming business needs as farmers no longer have to provide pesticides, water, and fertilizers uniformly across the entire fields. On the contrary, the inclusion of digital farming strategy can ensure minimal use of resources targeted for a specific area and also assist to treat individual plans distinctly, (Ayreet al. 2019, p.100302). The effectiveness includes increased worker safety due to automated machinery, higher crop productivity, minimum impact on natural ecosystems as well as decreased use of pesticides, water, and fertilizers. This in turn assists to keep the food prices down and offers profit at an elevated rate.Other than that, the digital farming strategy offers greater efficiency and safer growing conditions which in turn reduces environmental issues. Likewise, precision agriculture and prescriptive planting have the potential to offer such efficiencies in farming operations.

On the other hand, (Peppard and Ward, 2016, p. 87) stated that the integration of a digital farming strategy has made organizations in each sector dependent due to its effectiveness and progressive way of conducting business. It has significant benefits for different types of industries and businesses. Specifically, the industries including financial services, telecommunications, gambling, media, and entertainment have been explicitly integrating digital farming strategy through the effective application of information technology or information system. The dependency of industries, government, commerce, and not-for-profit organizations has been increasing in today’s technologically driven world. It assists to raise consumer demands with immediate response, connects business with consumers at ease as well as can be networked through devices including computers, phones, sensors, and cables. This, in turn, reduces the time and effort of businesses, resulting in growth and productivity in the competitive market.

6. As stated by (Waltz, 2017, p. 101), information technology hasa significant contribution in adding value to the farming industry which in turn assist to gain a competitive advantage for firms. The application of information technology for transforming raw products to its final valuable state for the consumers by restructuring the distribution system and agriculture system offers significant opportunities for the farming industry in adding value. Furthermore, the need and demands of customers in quality and variety due to different demographic trends, environmental-friendly measures, and health-conscious attributes can be easily comprehended by the farming industry through information technology. This, in turn, can assist to add value as well as gain competitive advantages for firms within the farming industry. It has been well highlighted by (Jagannathan and Priyatharshini, 2015, p. 52) that to gain a competitive advantage, it is essential to analyze the value-added categories in digital farming strategy. The use of information technology within the farmingsector can result in innovative practices that offer firms to gain a competitive position in the industry.

Technology is highly essential in the farming industry as it assists to enhance crop genetics along with the effective management of pesticides. The development of seeds with the best mix of properties to offer the best yield concerning weather conditions and specific soil has been a significant contribution of technology within this industry, (Starasts, 2015, p. 157). Other than that, mechanization through enhanced farm equipmenthas a positive influence on crop planting and harvesting. Combines, tractors, and planters are the contribution of technological advancement which has increased efficiency and reduced the need forlabour. On the other hand, (Brody and Pureswaran, 2015, p. 63) argued that livestock facilities and genetics by integrating inside climate-controlled barns have been also a positive influence of technology. Wi-fi and automated feed and control system has gained significant attention within the farming industry as such temperature can be easily customized through phones or tablets. Hence, technology has a significant contribution and influence within the farming industry, enhancing the lives of farmers while offering a competitive edge.

7. Based on the case study, the application of information technology can assist to enhancedigital farming strategy in several aspects.Firstly, the effectiveness and efficiency of operation enhance as the farmers would be able to harvest crops and bushels at an elevated rate based on the provided amount of resources, (Barreto and Amaral, 2018, p. 871). Based on the company Monsanto, a precision agriculture system can assist to increase the production of crops by approximately $20 billion each year. This, in turn, would result in increased revenue between $100,000 and $200,000 for a farm of 5,000 acres.

Secondly, through the use of precision agriculture and prescriptive planting, the wastage and limited use of resources can be mitigated, (Regan, 2019, p. 100292). The farmers using information technology in the agriculture sector would induce fewer loads offertilizers to deliver the same quantity of production or crop yields. This, in turn, increases efficiency and profit for the farmers along with sustainable use of resources. Thirdly, the integration of self-driving tractors as well as different automated machines makes a minimal error which would certainly increase due to human error or by the farmers. The precision of using automated commands and scripts can result in an appropriate and effective machine routine, required by the farmers for planting and harvesting.

Furthermore, irrespective of the structure of the farm i.e. big or small, the influence of the new software-driven programs will be positive in the forthcoming years as yields would be higher, specifically for the years when the conditions are not proper for digital farming strategy.The fear of farmers of seed prices being high, loss of confidential data about farming, and security has been significant to consider due to technology integration, (CambraBasecaet al. 2018, p. 110). However, the precision agriculture system is highly efficient, and agricultural firms are integrating safety standards for reaping out the benefits offered by technology in supporting digital farming strategy. 8. As stated by (Kosior, 2018, p. 43), precision agricultureis essential to both the agriculture industry and individual farmers. Additionally, advances in technologies can lighten loads of farmers. Specifically, farmers, those are operating individually have the opportunity and luxury of needing fewer field operators as precision agriculture offers an autonomous piece of equipmentsuch as spraying machine, tractors, combines, planting machines, and others. On the other hand, by the business year 2050, the global population is expected to increase by 34% which is approximately 9.2 billion. This certainly requires growth in food production by 70%. The integration of precision agriculture can assist to increasethe production of crops to comply with increasing demand as well as minimizes wastage and offers environment-friendly procedures.

Other than that, precision agriculture enables continuity of the agricultural industry explicitly. The current economic condition due to COVID-19 has created significant economic challenges for the farmers to increase production and integrate sustainable measures, (Nortonet al. 2019, p. 3016). Hence, through the integration of precision agriculture, not only the farmers can face economic challenges but also sustainably increase productivity, contributing to society. It can be stated that precision agriculture is highly essential in the modern business era for farmers to maximize productivity as well as increase efficiency.

9. The following are the strategic objectives that firms are trying to achieve by investing in information systems and technologies:

  • Competitive advantage and survival
    By investing hugely in information systems and technologies, firms can comprehend the market dynamics by integrating supply-demand as well as can analyzeperfect product digital farming strategy for diversification and expansion into new markets. It is essential to analyze the best course of action for the raw materials through innovation which can be offered by information systems and technologies. This, in turn, can result in long-term survival within the particular industry and also assist to gain competitive advantage.
  • Higher profitability and operational excellence
    Information systems and technologies offer firms the means to attain profitability and a high level of efficiency in business operations such as farming operations. As the growth in productivity and efficiency due to automated machinery and effective monitoring system is significant, operational excellence is highly achieved. This, in turn, results in higher productivity which in turn results in consumer satisfaction and higher profitability, (Van Es and Woodard, 2017, p. 102).
  • Effective decision making

  • As the present market and industry standardsare highly competitive and challenging, effective decision making for digital farming strategy is highly required. The integration of information systems and technologies can assist firms to gather the right information at the right time which results in informed decisions. This, in turn, can result in cost reduction and effective market concentration. The availability of real-time data due to information systems and technologies has made it possible for firms to develop techniques and strategies for higher productivity and efficiency in businesses.

Peppard, J. and Ward, J., 2016. The strategic management of information systems: Building a digital strategy. Digital farming strategyJohn Wiley & Sons.

Xin, J. and Zazueta, F., 2016. Technology trends in ICT–towards data-driven, farmer-centred and knowledge-based hybrid cloud architectures for smart farming. Agricultural Engineering International: CIGR Journal, 18(4), pp.275-279.

Hennessy, T., Läpple, D. and Moran, B., 2016. The digital divide in farming: A problem of access or engagement?. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 38(3), pp.474-491.

Fleming, A., Jakku, E., Lim-Camacho, L., Taylor, B. and Thorburn, P., 2018. Is big data for big farming or everyone? Perceptions in the Australian grains industry.Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 38(3), p.24.

Kennedy, A.J., Versace, V.L. and Brumby, S.A., 2016.Research protocol for a digital intervention to reduce stigma among males with a personal experience of suicide in the Australian farming community. BMC public health, 16(1), p.1204.

Nambisan, S., 2017. Digital entrepreneurship: Toward a digital technology perspective of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 41(6), pp.1029-1055.

Klerkx, L., Jakku, E. and Labarthe, P., 2019. A review of social science on digital agriculture, smart farming and agriculture 4.0: New contributions and a future research agenda.Digital farming strategy NJAS-Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences, 90, p.100315.

Shchutskaya, A.V., Afanaseva, E.P. and Kapustina, L.V., 2020. Digital farming development in Russia: Regional aspect. In Digital Transformation of the Economy: Challenges, Trends and New Opportunities (pp. 269-279). Springer, Cham.

Braun, A.T., Colangelo, E. and Steckel, T., 2018.Farming in the Era of Industrie 4.0. Procedia CIRP, 72, pp.979-984.

Friess, P., 2016. Digitising the industry-internet of things connecting the physical, digital and virtual worlds.River Publishers.

Ratten, V., 2018.Social entrepreneurship through digital communication in farming. World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development.

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Waltz, E., 2017. Digital farming attracts cash to agtech startups.

Starasts, A., 2015. Unearthing farmers' information seeking contexts and challenges in digital, local and industry environments. Library & Information Science Research, 37(2), pp.156-163.

Brody, P. and Pureswaran, V., 2015. The next digital gold rush: how the internet of things will create liquid, transparent markets. Strategy & Leadership.

Regan, Á., 2019. ‘Smart farming’in Ireland: A risk perception study with key governance actors. NJAS-Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences, 90, p.100292.

Norton, T., Chen, C., Larsen, M.L.V. and Berckmans, D., 2019. Precision livestock farming: building ‘digital representations’ to bring the animals closer to the farmer. animal, 13(12), pp.3009-3017.

CambraBaseca, C., Sendra, S., Lloret, J. and Tomas, J., 2019.A smart decision system for digital farming. Agronomy, 9(5), p.216.

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