big data

Some of the biggest names in American agriculture, ranging from farmers' organizations to private companies like Monsanto and DuPont, have agreed on principles governing the use of data collected from farms.

Starting this year, farmers across the Midwest can sign up for a service that lets big agribusiness collect data from their farms, minute by minute, as they plant and harvest their crops.

Monsanto and John Deere are offering competing versions of this service. Both are promising to mine that data for tips that will put more money in farmers' pockets.