Crop Tech

January 2, 2016 02:07 AM
Crop Tech

Make Data Make Sense

Farmers Business Network (FBN) is offering a solution to the “data dump” of modern ag: a tool to help farmers make better-informed, data-driven decisions.

Farmers Business Network adds layers of data and 150,000 acres a week to its database. Learn more at

For $500 a year, you can be a member of FBN and anonymously upload your data, including yield, seed varieties, inputs, prices, planting population, speed, fertilizer and more. In exchange, you can access the aggregated data (now covering 23 million acres) of FBN members to help guide your on-farm decisions.

After all, agribusinesses, like all corporations, have access to this kind of data, so why shouldn’t the farmers who produce data use it for their benefit?  

It’s a powerful idea with a wealth of potential. When farmers work together and pool their data, an accurate analytics picture immediately emerges, says Charles Baron, vice president of products and co-founder of FBN. “You can start making sense of it—which products perform best in real-world scenarios most similar to your farm,” he says.

The group, which was started a year ago and is partly funded by Google Ventures, is offering custom-procurement services, starting with chemical inputs. FBN will work with manufacturers, serving as buyers’ agent for their members and securing chemical inputs for up to 40% less than retail.

Minnesota farmer Gary Wagner, an FBN member, cautions farmers who buy chemicals this way to be especially knowledgeable about the products they use. “Often we get working application rates from our dealers. By purchasing chemicals this way, we may lose some insights into what’s working in the growing season,” Wagner says. 

Whether or not FBN products are for you, the idea of farmers owning their own aggregated data to drive on-farm decisions is here to stay. 

After all, analytics don’t lie, and real-life scenarios can lead to smarter farm decisions.

EPA Pulls Registration for Enlist Duo Herbicide

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently withdrew registration for Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist Duo Herbicide after granting approval earlier this year.

The agency says it received new information regarding potential synergistic effects between glyphosate and 2,4-D on non-target plants and will now perform a full analysis of the synergistic effects. The concern is how the chemicals act together, and whether EPA fully understands the impact on off-target organisms.

Dow says the company is “working with EPA to quickly provide further assurances that our product’s conditions of registered use will continue to protect the environment, including threatened and endangered plant species. 

“We expect these new evaluations will result in a prompt resolution of all outstanding issues,” the company said in a statement.

Corrections and Clarifications

Farm Journal would like to clarify the following facts and names that were misrepresented in the December issue:

  • The name of the company BASF Crop Protection was portrayed incorrectly. 
  • The newly registered product is Armezon PRO.
  • N,N-Bis-(3-aminopropyl)methylamine is known as BAPMA salt.

Free Selection Tool 

Agrible launched “Find My Seed,” a free corn and soybean seed-selection tool that uses data from more than 200,000 third-party trial plots. Offered as part of the Morning Farm Report suite of predictive analytic tools, Find My Seed intends to help farmers find the right seed based on location, brand, seed technology, production practices and soil type. Select factors that matter to you, answer a few questions and the tool shows top-performing options from more than 18,000 corn hybrids and soybean varieties. Agrible curated the performance data from independent researchers, university trials and other third-party sources.

For more information about the tool, visit 

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