Data optimization can make a good farmer great

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

What makes a good farmer, and what makes a great farmer?

Shea Ferster and Colin Wenngatz of MNP say through their research, the difference comes down to data — and utilizing data with intention.

Farmers know that by doing things at the right time, at the right place, in the right way, is the key to maximizing our crops, and ultimately, revenue.

A great farmer has the ability to look at the data they’ve collected, and understand where things can be improved.

“It’s really understanding and saying, how do you maximize the inputs in the sense of using the most efficiency? How do you plan for execution windows with an intentional plan, and then really creating a plan that’s collaborative between the farm, the agronomist, and all the key stakeholders,” explains Wenngatz. “Using the data to enable a plan as part of that process.”

The group at MNP has identified 35 data points — dates, times, settings, speeds, varieties, and more, to create a database that farmers can use for their own information.

“We believe those are going to show us the path, and the differences between a good, and a great farmer,” says Ferster.

As Wenngatz explains, it’s one thing to collect data, but it’s a whole different game to actually do something with it.

“You’re really trying to drive towards how do I make a decision that’s data driven, rather than just having data at its core?” says Wenngatz.

Check out the full conversation with Wenngatz and Ferster, below:

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