Where is Value in Agriculture Internet of Things?
Most of us do not have “domain knowledge” in more than a handful of areas, so it can be tough to envision the business model drivers for many Internet of Things apps. Home security we tend to get. We know the value proposition and the revenue model.
Connected car we can envision (safety, car trouble, vehicle diagnostics), with several possible revenue models (ads, subscriptions, car or device sales).
In principle, we can see how distribution and logistics might benefit (tracking where packages or shipments are, right now).
Agriculture, where few of us likely have domain expertise, is harder to grasp. Sure, we understand the value of understanding moisture content of the soil. But the incremental value, and business model benefits, are less clear.
Specialty crops might provide one example. The payback from wheat, whose retail value might be $500 an acre, is not as high as berries, where retail value might be $100,000 an acre.
Also, berries are highly perishable, wheat is less so. So yields and market prices at time of harvesting are key for berries, and likely for some other produce that has relatively higher value and is highly perishable.
Other specialty crops might be similar: higher value, highly perishable, highly susceptible to last-minute weather changes just before intended harvest. Specialty organic produce might generally be the sort of product where high value and high perishability make better knowledge more valuable, particularly in the days leading up to harvest.
Though it seems (and is) wasteful, a farmer might make a rational choice to allow some produce to essentially "rot in the fields" rather than bringing it all to market, putting huge pressure on the whole harvest, unless better knowledge allows for other choices.