Control what you can to control what you can’t.
For those in the agriculture industry, data collection is extremely important. It allows us to manage costs and inventory, drive decisions, and to better control the uncontrollable – weather and markets. It also allows us to track historical patterns and become better stewards of the land.
Types of Data:
When it comes to data in agriculture, most people think of yield data. This is a good starting point, however yield data is a very small piece of the puzzle. In the Landus Precision department, we like to categorize the data into two types: Controllable and Uncontrollable.
The data collection process can be as simple or as complicated as needed. Typically, monitors in the cab collect the field data and allow users to export the data into a computer program for safe-keeping and analytics. There are multiple financial tracking software programs to track income and expenses and a simple search online would result in current and historical weather reports, market information, and economy updates.
Data Use in Decision Making:
After the data is collected, the analyzation begins. This task can be overwhelming, so it is best to start small and simple at the field level.
What hybrid performed best?
Did that fungicide application pay for itself?
Is the soil sample information showing a major deficiency in potassium?
From there, start to ask the deeper questions:
Why did that hybrid perform best? Was it placement? Planter performance? Or Planting Date? Or weather?
The fungicide easily paid for itself…. was it the product? Or timing? Or both?
The sample data is showing a few concerning deficiencies….which nutrient or soil quality should be corrected first? Is it deficient across the field or in a few places?
From here, a bigger picture starts to form and allows growers to see what exactly is happening in their field and allows them to make the decisions necessary to maximize their profits. This data, when used correctly, will help drive those difficult decisions to combat the uncontrollable factors that are getting harder to track.