Precision Outtakes

When Lisa Heacox, a frequent contributor to CropLife® magazine and author of this issue’s State of Precision report, emailed us that the overarching topic of discussion was focused on data, it didn’t come as a surprise.

Improving data management/compatibility has been a running theme for some time, but the drumbeat is getting louder. With improving wireless communication and better, more functional field computing power available, the lack of compatibility is shifting from an annoyance to “the most significant hindrance to precision technology adoption in agriculture.”

The cover story contains not only anecdotes but also data from an electronic survey we conducted to compare against what our experts were telling us. We included all that print would allow to fit, but there were a few pieces of data from the survey we couldn’t squeeze in, which I’ll excerpt here.

One of the things we wanted to get our hands around is, just how much data is floating around out there? So we asked respondents to estimate what percentage of the acreage they service currently has electronically recorded data available.

More than a third of the respondents said that they have acreage data on hand for more than half the ground they service. And three-fourths of respondents have electronic data on at least 25% of their acreage.
We also wanted to get a sense for the character of the data — what kinds of data are retailers collecting on fields, and how much of each do they have on hand?

The clear leader among categories of data was “soil test results,” for which nearly half of retailers have the majority of the acres they service under a soil testing regimen that includes electronic data storage. Another 25% have this data for “about half the acres” they serve.

In second place is application data, with just over a third of respondents saying they have electronic records for the majority of served acres.
Next in line is georeferenced yield data. Nearly 30% of retailers have electronic, GPS yield data on hand, with about the same amount indicating they have this data on about half the acres.

One somewhat surprising statistic from the same question was aerial/satellite imagery, for which more than a quarter of respondents said they have the majority of the acres they service stored as electronic data.

Finally, we asked what GPS correction signals retailers are using, with the opportunity to provide multiple answers.  More than 60% are using higher accuracy GPS signals, including some form of real-time kinematic (RTK) technology or an enhanced satellite signal such as OmniSTAR HP and XP.

In reviewing all the information we collected for this issue, I think it’s clear that better data compatibility is the big challenge that, if we can find solutions, will open up the floodgates to technology adoption.

One more thing … next month, the International Conference on Precision Agriculture comes to Indianapolis, returning to the Midwest for the first time in almost a decade. With everything going on in agriculture and ag technology, this should be a fascinating event. We hope to see you there!

Leave a Reply

Paul Schrimpf Stories

OpinionTaming Data Overload
July 15, 2015
For the past couple of months, a significant chunk of my professsional efforts here have been dedicated to getting a Read More
Environmental Defense Fund logo
Paul SchrimpfEnvironmental Defense Fund: Appreciating Partners
May 19, 2015
I WAS deep in the throes of preparation for the Commodity Classic meeting that took place this past February, trying Read More
Paul SchrimpfWill The Merger Of Wheat Growers And North Central Farmers Elevator Be A Good Thing?
April 2, 2015
When crop prices started heading south last year, we knew the industry was headed for a dynamic season of consolidation Read More
Paul Schrimpf Group Editor
Paul SchrimpfBig Tech Takeaways
March 11, 2015
Farmers should not be allowed to point to a lack of obvious return-on-investment from data as a reason to not collect it. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100Pinnacle Purchases California-Based Specialty Crops Retailer
July 20, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings has successfully acquired California-based NH3 Service Co.  Operating as part of Pinnacle’s Performance Agriculture brand, the new locations Read More
Asmus Farm Supply liquid fertilizer facility features 20,000 square feet
CropLife 100Slideshow: Asmus Farm Supply Shows Off Its New Liquid Fertilizer Facility
July 15, 2015
Asmus Farm Supply, Rake, IA, recently added a new liquid fertilizer facility to its company operations. The new liquid fertilizer Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Feed Division Facilities Receive Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification
July 13, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co.’s Feed Division, a marketer and distributor of value-added feed ingredients for the aquaculture, livestock and pet food industries Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Expands To Brazil With Acquisition
July 8, 2015
BRANDT has acquired a majority interest in Target Brasil Fertilizantes Ltda. through its Brazilian subsidiary. Target Brasil manufactures, distributes and Read More
Milan Kucerak, president/CEO, West Central
CropLife 100West Central Cooperative And Its New President Are A Match Made In Deviation
June 29, 2015
To appreciate just how unique West Central Cooperative is in the world of ag retail, an observer need only consider Read More
Winter Wheat
CropLife 100South Dakota Co-op Member Owners Vote No On Unification
June 26, 2015
The Boards of Directors for North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) and Wheat Growers (WG) have announced that member-owners have voted Read More
Latest News
StewardshipOhio Water Quality Project To Determine How Much Phosph…
July 27, 2015
Researchers with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University are looking for farmers in Read More
FertilizerKoch Agronomic Services Launches N-TEGRATION Technology
July 27, 2015
Koch Agronomic Services, LLC (KAS) has launched  N-TEGRATION Technology, a process technology platform designed to enable production of enhanced efficiency fertilizers at Read More
HerbicidesExpert: IARC Herbicide Classifications Leading To Confu…
July 24, 2015
Few people in the crop protection industry had heard of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) before this Read More
ManagementFCI Trade Summit Update & Precision Tank Turns 50
July 23, 2015
Editors Dave Frabotta and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the upcoming FCI Trade Summit in Las Vegas, NV, and how Precision Tank Read More
Palmer pigweed seedhead in cotton
HerbicidesUSDA Deregulates Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist Cotton Trait
July 23, 2015
The USDA today issued its decision deregulating Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist cotton trait in the U.S. The USDA has now completed its Read More
Industry NewsVerdesian Life Sciences Showcases Versatile Product Por…
July 23, 2015
Technology has revolutionized agriculture by bringing farmers, retailers and distributors to the forefront of the digital age. To meet the Read More
FertilizerWSJ: Cf Industries Exploring Merger With Dutch Chemical…
July 23, 2015
U.S. fertilizer maker CF Industries is in advanced merger talks with Amsterdam-listed chemical company OCI NV, the Wall Street Journal Read More
HerbicidesNufarm Releases New Panther SC Herbicide
July 23, 2015
Nufarm has announced the availability of new Panther SC herbicide. Panther SC is the first liquid formulation of flumioxazin available Read More
EquipmentFarmLink Launches Farm Equipment Sharing Program
July 23, 2015
FarmLink has introduced a new online farm equipment sharing community – MachineryLink Sharing – leveraging this new economy business model Read More
HerbicidesCould The South’s Most Troublesome Weed Represent A Thr…
July 22, 2015
Palmer amaranth is undoubtedly the most troublesome weed in the southern United States, taking a devastating toll on both cotton Read More
Industry NewsH.J. Baker Hires New Director Of International Sales
July 22, 2015
Global Agriculture firm H.J. Baker announced today that Steve Langley has joined the company’s Crop Performance Division and Animal Health Read More
InsecticidesSyngenta Recommends Soybean Scouting To Prevent Economi…
July 22, 2015
Proper soybean insect pest control begins with scouting. As the warm weather continues, Syngenta encourages growers to implement a scouting Read More
Crop InputsH.J. Baker Launches Fall Sulphur Campaign
July 22, 2015
H.J. Baker has launched their “Keep Your Future Green – Use Tiger This Fall and Win Big” campaign. The campaign Read More
Central Valley Ag Randolph, NE
Retail FacilitiesStueve Construction Builds Fifth Facility For Central V…
July 21, 2015
Central Valley Ag partnered with Stueve Construction Co. to successfully design and build its Monroe, Oakland, Wakefield and Royal hub facilities Read More
FertilizerNew Research Could Lead To Less Reliance On Nitrogen, E…
July 21, 2015
Farmers often are required to apply nitrogen fertilizers to their crops to maintain quality and improve yields. Worldwide, farmers used Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Targets Farmers, AFBF In Syngenta Takeover
July 21, 2015
As Monsanto Co. struggles to convince rival Syngenta AG to discuss a potential merger, the seed and agrochemical giant is Read More
CHS Building exterior
Retail FacilitiesSackett Helps CHS Expand Blending Facility, Improve Acc…
July 21, 2015
CHS needed a blend plant that could vastly expand their capabilities in St. Charles, MN. The A.J. Sackett & Sons Read More
Industry NewsH.J. Baker Adds To HR Team
July 21, 2015
H.J. Baker announced today that Barbara Sullivan has joined the company’s executive team as Vice President of Human Resources. Prior Read More