Data was the big talk at the Oxford Farming Conference.
It lies at the heart of the conference's theme - 'World of Opportunity' - but suggestions by some that it offers farmers a new 'rich crop' is potentially counterproductive.
There is no doubting the value of data to farmers, and the whole food system. Data can unlock new insights and inform decision making in a way that has not been previously possible. Currently, the direct benefit to the data provider is informed decision-making and new solutions that can improve profitability.
However, individual farm data has little value in isolation. The real value comes from extracting relevance and actionable insights, which can only be achieved by pulling together data from many different sources. Ensuring that value goes back to the data provider is key.
However, over-hyping the value of individual farm data as a 'rich new crop' could potentially damage the need for more data to be shared more widely so that everyone can benefit.
"Our philosophy at Agrimetrics is that the control and value of data must lie in the data providers' hands in order to encourage sharing and build confidence and trust," explains CEO David Flanders.
Data access (permissions) is an integral part of this strategy. It's important that data is made available in different ways - to all users, request only or invitation only. The model then needs to accommodate whether the data is free, charged for, viewable or downloaded.
"A clear strategy for permission to access data opens up enormous opportunities for the whole sector to use the Agrimetrics Data Platform as a market place for their own data, providing direct value back to the provider" says David Flanders.
There are concerns that the Ag Bill is proposing mandatory sharing in order to drive innovation and productivity across the food system. This, no doubt, is a reaction to the concern at Government level that UK farmers and the industry are not extracting value from the vast amounts of data being generated across the food system in a way that our counterparts in Europe and the US are doing so effectively.
Agrimetrics urges everyone in the UK industry to work more collaboratively together to encourage data sharing and ensure that responsible data security measures are applied effectively.
"The sector has a collective responsibility to avoid derailing a golden opportunity to grow productivity and profits for UK food and farming at such a very challenging time in our history" concludes David Flanders. Notes for Editors:
Agrimetrics is an independent data authority and observatory, providing a catalyst for businesses to deliver new solutions and services. Agrimetrics
is one of four AgriTech Centres
with initial investment from the UK's strategic innovation agency (Innovate UK) to open up opportunities for transformational change and position the UK as a world leader in sustainable food production.
Its four founding partners of Rothamsted Research, University of Reading, NIAB and SRUC provide Agrimetrics with access to world leading expertise and capabilities in data science, smart analytics, bioinformatics, translational research and knowledge exchange in soils, crops, livestock, food and sustainability.
For more information or an interview with the CEO please contact Debbie Beaton on 07572667298 or firstname.lastname@example.org