This week, Indiana based Beck’s Hybrids announced their new data analysis system, the latest in a variety of new tools on the market to help farmers make critical decisions based on their farm data. Tom Uthell is an Illinois corn and soybean farmer who is now using the Beck’s system, called FARMserver. He said the ability to analyze on farm data is helping him to improve his operation, “We have a lot of great monitors that record information very well, but all that gets us is binders full of data that sat on a shelf. Now we can get data we can really use.”
Brent Minett, FARMserver field manager, says these tools can help farmers look at their production in a new say, “It can be as simple as wondering why hybrid A did so well in the first 3 fields, but did not do so well in the 4th field.” The weather tool can help growers analyze weather patterns to help explain differences in crop performance. FARMserver weather monitoring is focused on an individual field. A grower can receive an email or text message alerts when rain is approaching. In addition, FARMserver provides a unique recordkeeping system focused at the field level; comprehensive aerial imagery that delivers deep insight into field variability; field-based weather monitoring; and a crop scouting app.
Minett says the Beck’s program will allow growers to share their data and compare their operation to farmers in their area, “So if you are a farmer in Hamilton County Indiana and you would like to compare your yield information anonymously with other growers in your area, you can compare your information to theirs.” For example, you can compare your nitrogen rate or application timing with other growers who had similar or higher yields. This gives growers the opportunity to compare their agronomics with real farmers in their area.
Minett says the development of the Beck’s products, as well as similar products being offered by other seed companies, are all being driven by a desire on the part of farmers to do a better job of managing and analyzing their data. He said this kind of data analysis can help growers increase yields, better manage inputs, and save time. “This the qualification we use to include tools in FARMserver; it has to do one of those three things,” Minett said.
Mobility is another key issue. Taking data mobile has never been more important for farmers. FARMserver provides the capability to access their information from a web connected device at any time by using a simple and user-focused design. The FARMserver mobile app allows farmers to record geo-referenced data from the field and easily sync it to their secure FARMserver account.
Uthell told HAT he sees this kind of detailed analysis as the trend in farming for the near future. The Teutopolis, IL, farmer said ownership of his data is a key concern, “With FARMserver, I’m not only in control but I can choose to give my trusted advisors access in order to implement management strategies that will help increase my bottom-line. Plus, I can now store data from all my field locations in one place using one technology that I feel is safe, secure and easy to use.”
Security and ownership of the on-farm data is a major point of discussion among farmers and the industry. Standards are being put in place to provide guidelines for services who are collecting and sharing data. The Beck’s system is unique in that it allows grower to choose how their information is used and who can use it.
For more information or to sign up today, please contact a FARMserver field advisor at 317.565.4120 or visit www.FARMserver.com.