What could I have done differently? Farmers often contemplate this question – a gap exists between theorised maximum crop yield and the result in reality. To help narrow this distance, Agrimetrics is developing Data Combine, a benchmarking app that uses data from the Recommended Lists to compare performance.
Agrimetrics has defined the core data sets that are essential for different agri-food applications – including soil maps, meteorology (historic and forecast), field parameters, land use and environmental surveys – and has captured this data in a consistent format on its data platform. This allows diverse datasets to be used together to reveal new information.
When farmers were asked what they would find most useful, a benchmarking performance was at the top of the list, so this is one of the first applications that Agrimetrics has explored.
Agrimetrics Data Combine
David Flanders, CEO of Agrimetrics, explains: "Farmers said they wanted the app to be compatible with other industry benchmarking schemes and to offer a high degree of security and anonymity for farm data. Data Combine allows farmers to compare their data with that of the Recommended List and also with averaged data from fields with the same profile as theirs.
"Agrimetrics' data platform links different types of data, for example rainfall and soil type, with a location so the farmer only needs to indication the location of the field to gain access to this high quality data.
"Data Combine demonstrates the power of the platform. As more farmers use it it will build up a good picture of how varieties perform on different soil types, creating a 'Trip Advisor' for crops."
Although potential yield can be calculated using factors such as crop variety, soil type, available light and water, actual yield is influenced by other factors such as date of crop emergence and disease threat. By allowing the farmer to select the elements most relevant to him or her Data Combine will provide a powerful tool.
Aggregating real world input and making it anonymous, enables farmers to compare their performance against others. The more farmers that use the system the more representative it will be of actual farming practice and the opportunities for on farm improvement will become apparent.