On Tuesday, American Farm Bureau Federation delegates will begin the process of crafting policy for the nation’s largest farm organization at their annual convention in San Antonio. The process that began at the county level will culminate in San Antonio with the adoption of policies on a wide variety of issues impacting agriculture and rural life. Don Villwock, President of Indiana Farm Bureau, says the Hoosier delegation will be offering a position on farm data, “This is an area where there is a lot of uncertainty.” He told HAT that farmers want some clarification on who owns the data and who is going to make money from the data. Some companies stand to profit from the collection of data from farm equipment and precision agriculture technology. Villwock says the Indiana proposal would make sure farmers benefit, too, “If companies are going to make a profit from a farmer’s data, the farmers should share in that revenue.”
Drones are also expected to be an issue on which the delegates formulate a new policy. Indiana farmers are very concerned about who will be using this technology to collect information and who has the right to fly over their fields to collect this data.