The new precision frontier will turn precision ag data into profitable management decisions.
New precision services
Precision ag consultants, ag retail agronomists, seed companies and others have been gearing up to market services that help turn precision ag data into profitable decisions.
Software companies also have updated their crop data management products to help farmers make better use of the data they gather.
“The process of collecting good data is getting easier than it used to be,” says Scott Nusbaum, product manager for Farm Works, which markets its software as a do-it-yourself tool for farmers as well as consultants and ag retailers. “More farmers are collecting and using data, whether they are handling everything themselves or working with a consultant.”
Cubbage recently expanded his western Missouri consulting firm, Record Harvest (www.recordharvest.com), to establish a new precision ag data management service called Prime Meridian (www.primemeridiandata.com). The focus is on providing data storage and management solutions through ag retailers, as well as directly with farmers.
“Farmers need someone to be a data traffic cop,” Cubbage says. “We gather fertility information from the co-op and planting and yield monitor data in one location, so whoever may need it in the future can get access.”
Crop consultants and ag retail agronomists also are retooling their efforts to help farmers harvest more value from precision data. “We are experiencing a major paradigm shift: crop consultants are becoming data managers,” says Jeremy Wilson with Crop Information Management Services (www.cropims.com).
Based in southern Illinois, the company began offering an integrated information management and crop consulting service in 2004. Fees range from $3 to $10/acre and up, depending on crop scouting and data management needs. A Cadillac program includes scouting, monitor setup to assure clean data collection, plus analysis of planting and harvest data to develop crop removal fertilizer recommendations and planting recommendations based on performance by specific soil types and environments.
“It can be difficult to convince someone to pay somebody to manage their data,” Wilson says. “The ‘aha’ moment often comes with variety tracking and better hybrid and variety selection.”