ARDEN HILLS, Minn. (March 31, 2023) – This week, Land O’Lakes, Inc. released a new episode of the Rooted in Tomorrow podcast about accelerating agriculture with technology. It features Ranveer Chandra, Chief Technology Officer of Agri-Food at Microsoft, and Teddy Bekele, Chief Technology Officer at Land O’Lakes, who have worked together for almost a decade in this space. Drew Garretson, Chief Marketing Officer at Ceres Solutions Cooperative, also joins to discuss how Ceres’ Perrysville, Indiana, location is supporting the community and championing new ag technologies through an Internet of Things Innovation Hub made possible by a Microsoft Airband Initiative project convened by Land O’Lakes’ American Connection Project.
Land O’Lakes and Microsoft joint work is focused on driving innovation. Teddy says, “We want to co-innovate in this space [agriculture]. Not just to tackle the day-to-day issues but also bigger, broader societal challenges that we have.”
The three pillars of the alliance are focused on rural broadband, transforming ag with novel and emerging technologies, and the digitalization of Land O’Lakes.
Ranveer talks about technologies that farmers can use to improve their yield potential. For instance, if a farmer is wondering if they should turn on their irrigation system, they, “can put a probe in the soil, it sends [them] some data back, the system uses Artificial Intelligence along with other data to decide what’s the optimal time [and] rate to be able to turn machines on,” explains Ranveer.
Teddy and Ranveer showcased how the strategic alliance between Microsoft and Land O’Lakes can expand broadband access for rural communities and enable on-farm technology, which can ultimately promote sustainability through more efficient technology. The ability for the everyday farmer and agronomist to diagnose the needs of their fields with technology can allow for more effective treatment of the land and improved soil health.
Drew further illustrates this idea by sharing how Ceres is using soil sensors, cameras and test monitors in an open field to make advancements in food production. “We are having robots now do over 60% of our soil sampling at Ceres Solutions,” he says. “They make up over 250 thousand acres of our soil sampling today.”
You can learn more about the Land O’Lakes and Microsoft alliance by listening to the podcast episode on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and more.
Rooted in Tomorrow is an ag business and innovation podcast hosted by Land O’Lakes Chief Communications Officer Kim Olson. It brings together industry leaders for conversations about unlocking farming’s true potential and changing the world for the better.