When it comes to data collection, the ag industry is an embarrassment of riches. The problem is, with so much data, farmers often don't know where to start. Steve Cubbage, independent crop consultant with Record Harvest has a few ideas on how to set your operation up for success.
By now, most farmers have been told time and again they need to be collecting the “right data.” There are a lot of different types of data you can potentially collect, but here are a few good places to begin. Start with simple GPS/GIS field boundaries, and add in notes about variety information, plant populations and other details you might find useful.
As new herbicide-tolerant crops become available, it gets even more important to treat data as not just an opportunity, but also an obligation to avoid potential herbicide misapplications. Also, make sure you’re recording every pass, whether you’re planting, spraying, fertilizing or harvesting. Some companies are even paying for data collection. For example, an ADM wheat compliance program is paying its participants $1.50 an acre. That might not sound like a lot, but it’s a start and is giving these farmers access to a market they might not otherwise get.