Industry Trend Analysis - IoT In The Americas: Focus On Efficiency And Data Management - JUNE 2017

BMI View: The Americas region will be the main driver for precision farming over the coming years, as increases in acreage decline and the focus turns to increasing yields. The US will see the most innovation, especially in the areas of fertilisation application, plantings, spraying, and irrigation. In South America, the focus will be on reducing waste and increasing animal protein supply.

Precision farming, through the use of big data and the internet of things (IoT) will be a key feature for the agribusiness sector in the Americas over the coming years. This is because increasing yields will be the main driver of production growth over that time. Crop yield growth in the Americas has been relatively limited up until recently. Indeed, yields for corn and wheat in the US were essentially flat between the 1860s and 1960s. In Brazil, corn yields in 1960 were close to levels in the mid-1980s. Over that time then, much of the growth in production was predicated on increasing the acreage dedicated to crops.

However, acreage growth in the Americas has declined in recent years, a trend we believe will continue over the coming decades. This means that almost all of the crop production growth in the coming years will come from higher yields, which modern farm technology is designed to enhance. In the case of animals, herd sizes are easier to expand than acreage. However, economies of scale are difficult to achieve in the animal sector, and changing consumer trends will make animal rearing less profitable in the future.

Limited Change Until 1960s
US - Wheat Yields (bushel/acre)
Sources: BMI, USDA

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