Electronics, automation technology and the connection of machines to the Internet have massively changed the possibilities in agricultural production.
The digitalization of the economy is the side effect of the automation of serial operations in agriculture and the introduction of management and control systems to regulate production processes on the basis of modern technologies. Historically, both aspects are constant companions of agriculture, which have been driven more strongly by the growth of farms for at least two decades.
The quality of business planning and analysis depends on the availability of high-quality information. A farm management and information system (FMIS) can provide this information by enabling the central collection and storage of data from a wide variety of areas as well as their linking and processing to information that is relevant for the execution of the activities on a farm. The data collected in an FMIS can be internal (internal and external trade) as well as external, whereby the latter can encompass the entire value chain, be it on a horizontal (inter-company) or on a vertical (upstream and downstream) level. In this context, the terms “Big Data” and “Agriculture 4.0” are used very often. Big data describes data that is primarily characterized by the three dimensions of volume (data volume), velocity (speed at which the data volumes are generated and transferred) and variety (bandwidth of the data types). If technologies such as precision farming and remote sensing are networked with one another at the data level, one speaks of Agriculture 4.0. A FMIS based on agriculture 4.0, a comprehensive support function for the meeting business management decisions taking.
At present, a wide range of data from different systems is already available for agricultural operations (e.g. precision farming, animal husbandry, meteorological data, normative data for business planning, current input and output prices, etc.). On the one hand, there are technical problems with regard to data linkage (lack of homogeneous interfaces) and analysis (a lot of data, but little information) and, on the other hand, problems with the organizational design of the data exchange and data sovereignty and security. Possible future scenarios are proprietary in the latter point, closed solutions of large companies, and open systems, which a simple and free access to information and exchange allow (keyword: Open Data) et, facing each other. In addition, a good telecommunication structure (broadband internet) is a basic requirement for FMIS in the context of Agriculture 4.0. Therefore, there is a need for centralized solutions, which allow one hand, integrative information processing and information exchange and at the same level playing field with respect to the data ownership create.