The internet giant Google has invested $ 15 million in the US startup Farmers Business Network (FBN), specialized in the collection, processing and analysis of mégadonnées collected by farmers on their tractors and terminals Automotive.
Launched in November 2014, internet service available on PCs and smartphones already collects data from 4 million cultivated hectares in 17 states of the USA. The platform is currently able to provide references on the performances of 500 different varieties and 16 cultures. For 500 dollars a year, regardless of its surface, a participant farmer is informed of the performance of each variety, taking into account the weather and soil factors. In exchange, he transfers the data collected by its board computers on FBN, which then load aggregate and interpret them. The objective of the system is to enable everyone to compare its performance with those of colleagues and to choose its inputs based on independent field data and large scale.
Google’s investment in FBN is accompanied by raising additional funds of $ 13 million from other Internet players. NBF currently guarantees its users the non-use of their data for commercial purposes. This particular point is to reassure farmers, some of which are engaged in legal proceedings with other big data platforms (mégadonnées) held by manufacturers and seed for disclosure of personal data.
C. Le Gall