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Senior Contributor

Silicon Valley & your farm

So, Facebook yesterday announced it's paying $19 billion for what's essentially a texting app. What's $19 billion buy? A report on our newswire shows you could buy Campbell's Soup, Harley-Davidson or ConAgra Foods for less than that much. Wow!

 

Then, we got the news a few minutes ago that Climate Corp, now part of Monsanto, is buying part of a company called Solum, Inc., which has a "soil analysis" business. They're a Silicon Valley company based in San Francisco. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but I'm betting it was less than $19 billion!

 

Interesting convergence of circumstances this week. A HUGE Silicon Valley deal with the Facebook buy, then another deal -- albeit much smaller -- touching the ag space.

 

So, are we on the verge of a stronger connection between agriculture and Silicon Valley? And, are we on the verge of a stronger connection between Silicon Valley money and agriculture? What's it all mean to you? Is it all just a passing few pieces of news, or is there something happening here that could ultimately change the landscape for big agribusiness? Will that mean much to your farm today and down the road?

 

Just found this all really interesting...then again, it could be the rain/snow/hail/thundersnow-induced cabin fever we're all suffering from here in central Iowa today!

5 Replies
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Senior Advisor

Re: Silicon Valley & your farm

We've had fears of big corporations taking over agriculture for decades, maybe centuries.  Knowledge is power, and the ability to acquire and apply knowledge remotely means the decision maker can be removed from the place where the decision is applied.  It makes farming less personal.  It makes it more quantifiable and subject to "rules" of business procedures and operations.  The accountants and the lawyers start running the farm.

 

It's all going to come, the question is how soon?

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Senior Contributor

Re: Silicon Valley & your farm

Great points, Jim. Does the fact that it's Silicon Valley -- where the business culture is different than big agribusiness -- change your feelings on it?

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Senior Advisor

Re: Silicon Valley & your farm

it could be the rain/snow/hail/thundersnow-induced cabin fever we're all suffering from here in central Iowa today

 

Well Jeff - Thats my bet - lol  BUT who don't have it ???

 

My guess is that sombody out there woke up ans seen that Ag is the next golden egg in the tech. field - just look at wherewe have come n a short time with RTK , swath contol , varible rates and so on . Look a Cornell U. try at The Adapt N on Nitrogen ? And Have inked a deal with Agronomic Technology Corportation to Partner with . That deal is not free , 

 

It's all about the next new idea , Jm is right in his post - almost - heres a quote from Jim : Knowledge is power, and the ability to acquire and apply knowledge remotely means the decision maker can be removed from the place where the decision is applied  - The part I disagree alittle bit is the Decision part - I think that will stay with -- in this case the farmer - for know anyway ,  Smiley Happy

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Honored Advisor

Re: Silicon Valley & your farm

The recent Smithfield acquisition has put a whole new spin on the phrase " American agriculture". There is a certain type of investor that shows up at the farm, every generation or so, and throws money at it, because it is the " best investment" du jour. they run like rats from a sinking ship, as soon as the wind shifts a bit.

Things are " worth" what the consuming public is willing to pay for them. The thought that one tiny texting app us worth that kind of cash says something about what we value. Facebook is a dying brand, so there has to be the next great thing to take its place.

Meanwhile, food security slips further down our list of priorities. As I sometimes say:Good First World kind of problem to have today.
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Veteran Advisor

Re: Silicon Valley & your farm

Just remember, nobody goes into business
to help someone, they go into business to make money.

If you look deeper into Google, it gets down
Right spooky. Read the B**bleep** and comments
of the new director of development, and also
Operations director.

I've herd several different theroys on
The Monsanto activities....don't think
Its going to make things cheaper....look
at the tech fees, need I sày more?
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