Tomorrow’s global food supply is threatened by climate change, population growth, and limited resources. The Climate Corporation was started by former Google employees to help farmers adapt to these challenges. Their technology collects masses of data on weather, temperature, and soil conditions, and helps farmers make decisions about planting and harvesting. In 2013, the company was bought by Monsanto. In 2018, Monsanto was acquired by Bayer, making it one of the largest biological, chemical, and digital agricultural companies in the world.
From sensors on tractors to drones in the skies, advocates claim that networked farms could revolutionize agriculture and help the world’s food supply. According to Friends of the Earth, many farmers are concerned that Bayer-Monsanto will control data about farm practices. This creates power asymmetries between farmers and agribusinesses, as well as shifting the insights from generations of farmers to mega-corporations.