Data Key to Unlocking Yield PotentialMon, 22 Dec 2014 16:07:46 CST
Agriculture has done a lot to improve yields with new advancements. From global positioning systems on tractors, to more advanced seed genetics, but where does the industry go from here? Dave Rhylander of Monsanto/The Climate Corporation said the next big improvement in crop yields will come from data.
“I think the unique opportunity we have in the future, is how we take all this data that farmers are creating and companies are developing and put it together, because I think that unlocks the future yield potential,” Rhylander said.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays interviewed Rhylander at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention in Kansas City. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to the full interview.
New corn varieties have the potential to produce 500 bushels per acre, but it seems few have been able to hit that milestone. Rhylander said it’s because we don’t understand interactions of all these variables. If we can start understanding the yield impact of all the different variables, then he believes it would be possible to develop better recommendations to help farmers optimize their yields.
The process begins with capturing data from planting, to harvest, along with soil nutrient testing and capturing weather data. Rhylander said if we can start layering that information together and utilize statistical models, then he believes their company will be able develop better insights for farmers in how they improve the productivity on their farm.
The process starts at the farm by capturing data. Rhylander said most farmers already have all of the ingredients with planting data, yield monitors and soil information, but the challenge is how do compile all of this information together. By optimizing that information he said it will be possible to develop the right recommendation to increase productivity.
One of the biggest concerns of having all of this data is privacy. Rhylander said it doesn’t matter if you are talking about agriculture or retail, everyone has privacy concerns in how their information will be used. The Climate Corporation's believes the farmer owns their data and it is up to the farmer to decide if they want to move their data. Rhylander said it is up to the farmer to decide if they want to provide their data to their company. He said it is also the responsibility of the company to be transparent by telling the farmer how their data will be utilized.
“So we have to be very transparent as an industry or as a company like Climate (Corporation), on how do we intend to use that data to help improve your productivity on your farm,” Rhylander said.
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