What Are Your Big Data Questions?

February 24, 2016 12:42 PM

Farmers are collecting data by the gigabyte, but there’s still a lot of ambiguity about how that data should be collected, used and/or shared. In the coming weeks, researchers at The Ohio State University hope to answer some of those lingering questions.

“Now more than ever, growers need to be aware of how their data is being used,” write John Fulton and Kaylee Port with OSU. “It is in your best interest to ask and learn all there is to know about something you don’t understand. Knowing about digital agriculture is the first step towards being a good data steward and making better agronomic decisions.”

To that end, OSU will be delivering a series to farmers over the next few weeks that will break down principles drafted by the American Farm Bureau Federation in 2015, “Privacy and Security Principles for Farm Data.”

These principles cover everything from basic terms and definitions, to ownership, access, control, transparency, liabilities and much more. Read more about them here.

Meantime, check back with OSU later this spring as the series unfolds, recommend Fulton and Port.

“This digital agriculture concept can be overwhelming, and this series aims to make sense of the Big Data presence within the agricultural community,” they note.

OSU has additional information about big data in agriculture here.

What are your own questions or concerns about data collection and sharing in agriculture? Continue the conversation in the comments below.

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Spell Check

Gary Wagner
Crookston, MN
4/18/2016 04:50 PM

  Every “Big Data” company farmers work with are “FOR PROFIT” companies. These agribusinesses provide agreements that allow them to alter our data and use the information. Once the data has been aggregated it’s no longer our data, but the raw data is. The relationship farmers have with big data companies is not a traditional company / customer relationship. That’s because the farmer is not the primary customer. Our information are the products those companies sell to their real customers. The relationship is more futile than commercial. … We are tenant farmers for these companies working on their land by producing data that they intern sell for profit. Many of the “Big Data” farm companies are funded by Venture Capital. Google Venture Capital has money in many of these farm big data companies. What is Google’s biggest asset…targeted advertising! With access to farm specific data they now have a new level of power over pricing and insight into performance and land value, farm by farm, these agribusinesses can price their seed and services so they are just expensive enough to get farmers to pay for them but not enough to put them out of business. … Agribusiness has omniscience about the wellbeing of the farmer. And it is possible to use the insight to exploit the farmer financially. What about farm equipment companies, knowing the condition of a piece of equipment before it is traded in? Will the dealership know of a pending problem before it is traded and discount the trade price?


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