Article Submitted by Advanced Ag Solutions
Precision ag data accumulates seasonally and in fast order. Sometimes you are able to view and use the information as you traverse the field but other times there are additional steps you or someone else would like to take later to continue to add value to your business. This white paper was written to be a resource for farmers and custom applicators that accumulate spatial data from the farm.
Tip #1: Copy and paste to your hard drive. Removing data from your monitor prevents overwhelming local storage. I have seen farmers buy new data cards every year when they fill them up. This is not only wasteful, it’s risky. Save data to long term storage.
Tip #2: Always retain raw data. Service providers can clean and utilize data in new and various ways in the future. Importing directly into your GIS software not only waters down your data, it transforms it and makes sharing more difficult in future years.
Tip #3: Back up your data. Some online services are free and automatic while you sleep but data upload via farm internet service can be slow. External hard drives can be purchased for less than $100 and store TB’s of data. This allows you to buy new computers without transferring data every time. Store a second copy right away.
Tip #4: Make data transfer automatic. Whether directly from the field or part of your daily routine, bringing data into long term storage is good practice during the busy season.
Tip #5: Organize hard drive folders by activity and season. Example: Harvest 2012. This will help you locate information later. This will make new imports or sharing with service providers much easier.
I hope these tips help you think through a few of the basic elements to solid, long term data management for your business.