The key to making data valuable to a farm is storing it in a location where it can be used (i.e., “actioned”) to generate information. Ensuring it can be shared with trusted advisors and others who can analyze it to develop recommendations and new insights into the farm operation will maximize the data’s value.
Data is nothing new to agriculture and, specifically, farming operations. Historically, hand-written notes have represented the data used by farmers to evaluate their operation and yield. With the arrival of precision agriculture (PA) in the early 1990s, however, farmers began using technology to collect site-specific, electronic data. As PA technology has evolved, internet connectivity and cloud technology have enhanced the access and portability of data collected on farm machinery and through mobile applications.
Digital technologies today are shaping how we do business and how we conduct our personal lives. Smart phones, iPads, tablets, and other devices are used daily by people of all ages around the globe. Precision agriculture (PA) technologies are also now common on farms. Farm machinery comes from the manufacturer with technologies already embedded including internet connection capabilities already installed. This abundance of technology is capable of collecting large volumes of data for a field.