Data Service Goes Nationwide

Steve Cubbage and Justin Ogle have been advocates for preserving and protecting field data for a number of years from their Missouri home base. Now, they’re ready to expand their data aggregation service, Prime Meridian, to a national customer base.

Prime Meridian is a neutral, third-party web-based data storage and aggregation service that is designed to help growers get the absolute most out of the data they collect, and the data other entities collect on their behalf.

Traditionally a partner with the agricultural retailer, Prime Meridian collects data from all operations and entities, including seed variety data from seed manufacturers, as applied data from retailers, planting and harvest data from the grower, and other service providers as needed. From the submitted data and based on direction from the retailer, Prime Meridian can provide a wide range of information and recommendations, including ready-to-run prescriptions for the retail applicator.

Prime Meridian cut its teeth as a data aggregating service with smaller retailers who wanted to start a precision agriculture program but could not afford the expertise of a GIS specialist on staff. They developed precision packages that retailers could present to growers and show the true benefit of collecting and effectively using data, and have worked to make it simple for growers to get engaged and understand their critical role in the data collection process.

Expanded Offerings

Today, Prime Meridian offers secure online data storage accounts for retailers and growers and gives local ag retailers a full menu of GPS data processing services and products. With its online ordering system for precision data services, local retailers can focus their efforts on delivering cutting-edge solutions to their customers.

Cubbage emphasizes that they do not see Prime Meridian as a replacement for the service ag retailers provide, but simply a facilitator that brings the parties together around the data. “We’re more like that middle inning reliever in a baseball game, setting things up in a professional and organized manner so the retailer can come in with a strong agronomic plan and be the closer,” he explains.

Cubbage acknowledges that educating growers about the increasing importance of proper data storage and use will be an important component of taking this service nationwide. “Lots of growers frankly have no idea where their data is,” he asserts. “And given the growing role of data in agriculture, there will almost certainly come a time when growers will be asked for data and won’t have it.

“Regardless of how it is done, the grower needs a home for his data and that home is not stuck on a flash card in a desk drawer somewhere,” he continues. “It needs to be backed up. It will become more important, and more valuable with time.”

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