When it comes to agriculture and farming, success is always dependent on cycles of one kind or another. Seasons change, precipitation varies, climate patterns shift… In short, there are times of plenty and there times of great demand, thus farmers need to automatically scale their resources and provision according to immediate needs and their own spending, yield and other policies. Does that model sound familiar like perhaps the case for cloud computing?

While the shifting, cyclical demand creates plenty of uncertainty for farmers, the sporadic, constantly-changing nature of needs versus spare capacity creates an ideal environment for cloud computing models to thrive.

Cloud computing is catching on for large providers of agricultural services and as a tool to help agricultural researchers in the field and in the lab. This year there should be a wealth of new use cases that highlight the way a number of technologies come together everything from application development for mobile devices operating in the cloud to new sensors that send data to remote resources all of which are either enabled or enhanced by cloud.

Agricultural cloud computing use cases are wide-ranging; from the refinement of planting and harvesting operations to research based on the integration of global positioning data and in-field studies. What is interesting about this field is that cloud computing in agriculture is benefiting from the integration of a number of improvements in mobile, sensor, GIS, GPS and other technological developments in tandem. Use cases for agricultural production and research projects go far beyond simple remote hosting.

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