Ontario Agronomy Geeks — Ep. 12: Putting Data to Work on the Farm

Farmers have been collecting data since the first yield maps appeared 20 to 30 years ago. The promise then was that farmers would be able to turn data into management decisions that would benefit their bottom line. For most farmers, though, that has yet to happen.

In this episode of the Agronomy Geeks Ontario podcast, Bernard Tobin and Aaron Ault, Project Lead for the Open Ag Data Alliance (OADA), explore why data has yet to fulfill its promise for farmers. Ault explains that the biggest impediment is the lack of “open sourcing” and “interoperability” in agriculture computer technology and programs. “The rest of the computer world builds frameworks that can talk to each other and different company software and technology can all interact,” explains Ault. But that’s not the case in agriculture.

Ault explains how the (OADA) is working to bring industry technology providers together to standardize how ag data gets into the cloud, out of the cloud and how to build apps to make use of data on behalf of farmers. The “Holy Grail” — using data to evaluate the management decision you make on your farm — is not that far away but it will require more industry cooperation and collaboration, says Ault. He also offers advice for farmers on questions they should be asking equipment dealers and technology providers when investing in data management systems.

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