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Big data transforms life in rural areas

New uses for big data are found all the time - whether it's for a commercial or for the betterment of mankind, cloud computing has revolutionized the way major research is done and the speed at which this data can affect the world around us. Here are just a few ways that some of the most powerful business sectors in the world are changing for the better thanks to a complex infrastructure that allows mass amounts of information to be stored and analyzed.

Sustaining rural areas and crops with big data
TechRepublic's Lyndsey Gilpin recently reported on the current drought in California, which has devastated profitable crops like avocados and almonds, which are normally sold at a more affordable price for domestic customers. Though a cloud server may not be the most obvious solution to this prevalent issue, it is proving to be extremely effective in tracing water patterns to predict how much water the California farmlands will receive in the coming years so that farmers can begin to seek out alternatives before their business is damaged.

"Big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) are going to play a huge role in addressing the challenges the world will face in the coming years," Gilpin continued. "It's why the U.S. government opened its climate change data to the public and is promoting community projects to use technology in creating solutions."

Dedicated hosting is also transforming the way that crop yield monitoring is being conducted - though the practice has existed for decades, big data technology has boosted the accuracy to which a yield can be predicted with startling accuracy. The analytics produced from these studies can help the farming industry identify the best practices of working with a certain crop in an exact way to avoid guesswork or purchasing too much or not enough materials to produce the amount of crops necessary. The big data process includes information regarding soil moisture, nature, composition, as well as weather and climate statistics that harvesters can pore over to decide what their next major decision or purchase will be.

Precise analytics could feed billions
Ten years ago, it wasn't incredibly common for a farmer to make use of a cloud computing server or enable Wi-Fi in a barn, but the industry has spent the past few years catching up to city technology standards, Gilpin reported in a separate study. This adoption of wireless file sharing and big data studies is well-timed as the responsibility of the farming industry will only grow in importance as the planet's population continues to grow, with a projected nine billion mouths to feed by 2050. To ensure that big data keeps working for the betterment of big agriculture, new adopters are being careful to ensure cloud security.

"If farmers take it seriously enough - and harness the power of precision agriculture appropriately - farmers stand a chance to double their output to feed those 9 billion people and shift societal perceptions of the agriculture industry," Gilpin explained.

As the industry continues to develop and adapt to high crop demands and more data to analyze, cloud computing will play a crucial role in the nation's future.

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