The American Farm Bureau Federation and a host of other agricultural groups revealed a ground-breaking data repository that supporters say will give farmers ultimate control over the ever-increasing business data gathered and transmitted by high-tech farm machinery.
Tractors, tilling equipment, planters, sprayers, harvesters and agricultural drones are increasingly connected to the Internet. Even so, farmers don't always have the ability to precisely control where that data goes, nor transfer it from one data processor to another. The newly formed Agricultural Data Coalition will empower farmers to better control, manage and maximize the value of the data they collect every day in the fields.
'Farmers must retain ownership and control of the private agricultural data that originates from the work they do in their fields,' AFBF President Zippy Duvall said. 'Harnessing that proprietary information for field-level efficiency and effectiveness is the key that will unlock more profitability and the greater adoption of precision agriculture. That's good for business and the environment, too.'
The Agricultural Data Coalition (ADC) is the result of years of planning and coordination by AFBF, Auburn University, Ohio State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, AGCO, CNH Industrial, Crop IMS, Raven Industries, Mississippi State University and Topcon Positioning Systems, Inc.
ADC's goal is to build a national online repository where farmers can securely store and control the information collected by their tractors, harvesters, aerial drones and other devices. Over time, that data can then be scrubbed, synced and transmitted in an efficient and uniform way to third parties — whether researchers, crop insurance agents, government officials, farm managers, input providers or any trusted advisor the farmer chooses.
'The key is that farmers are in complete control, and they decide who is allowed access to their data,' ADC Interim Executive Director Matt Bechdol said. 'That's what sets ADC apart. This is not about profit for others; it's about streamlining data management, establishing clear lines of control, and helping growers utilize their data in ways that ultimately benefit them.'
Farmers interested in learning more about data collection, and organizations interested in joining ADC's efforts, should visit www.AgDataCoaltion.org.