Harvesting data is a home run for baseball and for agriculture

October. The month of the fall classic. The time of year Cubs fans say: "Wait until next year," an 86-year-old curse is broken or a mid-market team overcomes the odds — America’s favorite pastime in October is such a treat to watch.

Baseball and modern ag­­riculture share some common ground, in fact, as agriculture’s fast-paced technological advancements are getting the industry in the game of leveraging data. Take, for example, the movie "Moneyball," the story of the Oakland Athletics (A’s) baseball team and General Manager Billy Beane.

The central premise of "Mon­eyball" is that the collected wisdom of baseball insiders over the past century is subjective. Statistics such as stolen bases, runs batted in and batting average, which are typically used to gauge players, are relics of a 20th-century view of...

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