Photo courtesy of Climate Corporation.
Big Ag has discovered Big Data in a Big Way and it’s making Big News. In fact, it made the front page of the Wall Street Journal last week as industry representatives and producers chimed in on the brewing debate over the subject of data and data ownership. Bold moves especially by firms like Monsanto buying a “big data” firm like Climate Corporation for nearly a billion dollars only has added fuel to the fire.
It was a very sobering article regarding the great number of questions that are yet to be resolved regarding this subject of data and who is in control. The biggest question for producers is who is driving this ship – them or the seed companies? If producers want to take the wheel they better grab it before it is too late. Also is there a place for smaller independent data management firms like Prime Meridian amongst the industry giants like Monsanto, Deere and Pioneer. Here is the link to the very in-depth and thought provoking article in last week’s Wall Street Journal.
Mostly cloudy. That is the one forecast that most farmers can take to the bank over the next couple of years. No we’re not talking about the weather because that’s anybody’s guess. Instead it describes where farming is headed – it is headed to this abstract thing called the cloud. The online “cloud” is going to be replacing clunky storage devices like USB sticks and flash cards and bypassing desktop PC’s and in-house servers and going to internet based storage sites affectionately known as the cloud.
I had the pleasure of sitting on an industry panel that addressed this subject with growers attending the Commodity Classic in San Antonio. Here is a news article, titled “Farming Moves to the Cloud,” from the San Antonio Express-News that highlights some of the excerpts from that discussion.
Steve Cubbage, pictured on the left, addresses the crowd at Commodity Classic.
Iron dealers were there at the beginning of precision agriculture. For many, the piece of precision hardware called the yield monitor started this whole technological revolution in agriculture. Today, it has become integrated into machine as just one of the hundreds of sensors that make up a modern combine.
Yield monitors, planter monitors, sprayer monitors all should be the “domain” of the iron dealer. Because of that fact, machinery dealers are now being faced with whether or not to be more than just a “seller of iron” when it comes to precision agriculture. A recent forum by Farm Machinery magazine at the Ag Connect conference in Kansas City took a look at where and how machinery dealers should position their businesses when it comes to the business of precision data services.
View the full article, “Data Management: Waking the ‘Sleeping Giant’ in Precision Farming,” which features an interview with Steve Cubbage of Prime Meridian, by clicking here.
Autosteer literally changed the face and direction of precision agriculture. That whiz-bang technology came about because once highly sophisticated military technology was commercialized. Just take a look at what has happened. Tractors and combines now roll off the production line complete with GPS from the factory just like it was as common of a technology as AM/FM radio.
Now another military technology is about to infiltrate precision agriculture. Last week the Wall Street Journal took a look at drone technology and how it could change the agricultural landscape when it comes to managing crops in the future. I had a chance to chime in on what it might mean for our industry and I believe we have only scratched the surface of what’s possible. Pardon the pun, but in this case I really do believe the sky is the limit! What do you think?
View the full Wall Street Journal article, “Drones Hit New Turf: U.S. Farmlands,” by clicking here.
Last month I had the honor of speaking at the AgGateway annual conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
My topic was “Precision Agricultural Standards” as it relates to data and the sharing of data within the industry. I told the group attending that the lack of common naming standards and the continued use proprietary data types adopted by precision hardware manufacturers has slowed and even stalled progress when it comes to advances that could benefit the industry – most importantly at the producer level.
For those of you who do not know about AgGateway and the role they play within the agricultural industry I would encourage you to learn more about them. Their website can be found here: http://www.aggateway.org/
In a nutshell, they are an industry standards advocacy group that has already done tremendous work to move agricultural commerce into the 21st century. Their work in areas of agricultural e-commerce has provided the “common language” whenever inputs like seed, fertilizer and crop protection products are transacted throughout the agricultural supply chain.
It would seem only natural that an unbiased, highly respected organization like AgGateway be the one to shepherd the industry players in working toward precision agriculture standards. To learn more about this subject and what I told those who gathered in New Mexico check out Rich Keller’s post on the AgProfessional’s website by clicking here.
CropLife Magazine’s annual “State of Precision Ag” article was revealing in one aspect – producers are tired of the status quo and they’re looking for more.
I was lucky enough and also honored to be featured as part of this yearly insight of where the industry is headed and where we need to go. In many ways the reports highlighted in this piece are encouraging because industry professionals and growers are recognizing the most good is going to be found within the mountains of information being collected. The discouraging part of the article is the realization that we still have a very long road ahead of us before any of us get this whole thing figured out.
The other tidbits that came out of the article show that producers are no longer just settling for “paper maps” of old school precision services like yield mapping and grid soil sampling. Growers want it all put together and they want it now on their mobile devices. They want access to premium services like crop imagery, aggregated data and variable-rate services.
More than anything growers want access to a data master or in layman’s terms – a precision service provider. We think that definition defines Prime Meridian and what we do very well.
Who is your precision data master? According to this article you’re going to need one, if you expect the “Force” to be with you in the future when it comes to the subject of precision agriculture.
Click here to read the full article, “2012 State Of Precision Ag: Data Masters.”
Its always good to share with fellow colleagues in the precision ag what the industry is up to. Recently, Paul Schrimpf of PrecisionAg.com and I had a chance to talk regarding how mobile computing is changing the face of precision agriculture. Like myself, Paul is literally amazed how quickly things are changing from a desktop and tablet world to a tablet one. True mobile computing – a world where iPhones and iPads rule the day is finally putting the grower back in charge of his data and more importantly his farm.
To check out the full conversation between Paul and I on this exciting subject of mobile computing and the future of precision agriculture check out Paul’s recent blog post, “Mobile On The Move: A Conversation With Steve Cubbage.“
Photo from FarmIndustryNews.com.
Farm Industry News recently highlighted Prime Meridian in an article about what the future holds for precision agriculture.
The February article in Farm Industry News entitled, “Next wave of precision ag data” featured comments and crystal ball predictions from industry leaders including Steve Cubbage, president of Prime Meridan, a precision agricultural data management company headquartered in Nevada, MO.
To find out the trends and the technology that will drive precision agriculture in the next decade check out the article by clicking here.