Curious Planeteer working to make the Earth's changes visible, accessible and actionable.

World Agri-Tech Investment Summit: The Big Takeaways


I’m Ryan, a Planet Labs Agriculture rep—I work to get our satellite imagery into the hands of decision makers in the agriculture industry, whether they work in an office or in the field.

Last week I was in San Francisco attending the World Agri-Tech Investment Summit. The conference explored growing technology trends in the agriculture industry and in the investment community. Check out my rundown of interesting conference takeaways:

The Beginning

First up was the Planet Labs-hosted welcome reception. Almost 200 people kicked off the conference in the Planet Labs “Mothership”.

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We had a blast kicking off the conference Planet-style, with drinks, snacks, satellites, and good company. It was a great start to a fun and fruitful conference.

The Takeaways

1) Keep it simple
Growers want technology that is proven and easy to use. Planet Labs offers a global, authoritative reference layer for farm management decision support. Because we offer the highest frequency & broadest coverage high resolution satellite imagery, a grower knows they can rely on receiving imagery of their land when they need it.

2) Farming is still a relationship business
Many growers rely on trusted advisors to make technology recommendations.

3) Field testing and ROI validation is key to grower adoption
Growers can’t waste time testing new and unproven technologies, they need to focus on what works. Planet is the world’s leading provider of agricultural satellite imagery. We partner with leaders in precision agriculture—companies committed to helping their growers benefit through imagery technology.

4) Machine learning and computer vision will be interesting to watch
There’s no shortage of data; whether that’s coming from the field or remote sensors. There are many new ways to monitor crop health. Machine learning and computer vision is a promising field that can help growers turn massive volume of data into actionable information.

After a week of meetings, workshops and keynotes with some of the world’s ag-tech leaders, it’s clear that that smart farms and precision agriculture are revolutionizing the way we get crops in the field onto your dinner table. It’s an exciting space to be in.

Learn more about satellite imagery’s role in the precision agriculture movement.