How to Manage Massive Farm Data

March 1, 2013 03:22 AM
How to Manage Massive Farm Data

Precision ag technology allows farmers to track an increasingly staggering amount of agronomic and equipment data. Master the data, and you can master better operational efficiency on the farm. Now, agribusinesses are tuning in to find better ways to manage this mountain of data so the proverbial signal isn’t lost in the noise.

"In today’s complex, data-intense farming operations, growers need a way to sort through all their data to make better decisions," says Paul E. Schickler, DuPont Pioneer president. "Information is only relevant if it is used in a way that can help increase the entire operations’ profitability."

DuPont Pioneer announced at the Commodity Classic today that the company has allocated additional resources to expand its support for a wide variety of farming decisions, including seed selection, in-season crop management and water and fertility management — all at a grower’s fingertips. The first wave of services, branded as Pioneer Field360, can help farmers use data to increase productivity with timely and actionable information, Schickler says.

The suite of apps and digital management tools includes:

  • Pioneer Field360 Notes app, which streamlines and organizes field-by-field agronomic information that can be shared among DuPont Pioneer agronomists, sales professionals and farmers. (iPad/iPhone only; Android coming soon)
  • Pioneer Field 360 Plantability app, which allows farmers to scan a seed tag and indicate their planter type to improve planter performance and seed-drop accuracy. (iPad/iPhone and Android)
  • Pioneer Field360 Select service is a mobile subscription service available later to farmers later this year and runs on any computer or tablet with Internet access. The web-based software allows farmers to monitor their fields by "management layers" in real-time for precipitation, GDU information and corn growth stage development.


John Deere is unlocking an unprecedented level of environmental data for farmers to better understand real-time field conditions. More data helps foster better farm decisions as long as it can be easily accessed through a centralized location, says Patrick Sikora, John Deere marketing manager.

Expanding on the John Deere Field Connect soil moisture monitoring system introduced last fall, John Deere will add environmental sensors and features this spring that will allow farmers to document more information directly from the tractor. The new environmental sensors provide the farmer with data on temperature, wind speed, wind direction, humidity, solar radiation, leaf wetness and rainfall, Sikora says.

"By adding more sensory around field parameters, moisture sensors and other key environmental field information that the farmer would want to see in their field, they can learn things that might impact the planting dates," Sikora says. Detailed site-specific information allows producers to more efficiently use water resources, as well as schedule and perform other agronomic practices dependent on soil and environmental conditions.

From the sensors, field-specific soil moisture and environmental data is transmitted to a secure website for viewing, and John Deere Field Connect customers can program the system to receive alerts based on set parameters. Field Connect then charts the data from the readings over time, allowing producers to identify trends. The system can be customized to each field depending on the objectives of each customer. Sikora hopes this functionality will allow farmers to more easily optimize productivity in each field.

The sensors are the newest data collection addition to the John Deere’s integrated solutions technology, which provides customized services built around wireless communication, remote support and GPS technology. For more information, visit


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