How Data science and gene editing will transform farming

About two decades ago, genetically modified organisms came into popular use. And the technique quickly drew fire from critics for introducing DNA from one organism into another. Now there are new technologies on the rise that promise to reshape the world of agriculture. Data science is making it possible to get a much more detailed look at things like how fertilizer can be used more effectively. Potentially more controversial is a new technique known as gene editing that lets scientists remove negative traits from an organism or add positive ones without introducing any foreign DNA. Proponents say the method is simply what farmers have been doing for centuries—breeding for certain traits—only much faster and more efficiently. Rate-limiting step is going to be how fast can you produce the seed and that it’ll take years from producing a seed to having a new variety. At the same time, big data is enabling farmers to analyze their fields more deeply to wring the most they can out of the most productive acres.