Universal compatibility is critical for the future of ag tech
By Ryan Ridley
From soil sample and machine data to satellite imagery and agronomy, growers have access to many sources of information that can be used to increase efficiencies and make better decisions on the farm.
The problem with all this ag data is that growers have multiple data sources that aren’t compatible.
Kyle Daeley, Head of Business Development - North America at Augmenta, discussed data compatibility and transparency in ag tech with attendees of the 2020 Farms.com Precision Agriculture Conference & Ag Tech Showcase.
“Data equals money,” says Daeley. “Yes, data is incredibly valuable, but I think its convoluted to the point where growers don’t want to give up data. They’ve been told that their data has value – and it does – but when it sits on a flash drive in a proprietary format, what can you really do with that data? The answer is not much.”
Daeley looks back at the history of ag tech to better understand how this highly competitive sector got to where it stands today, citing the 2000-2010 era as the ‘First Wave of Ag Tech’ and where we are today on the tail end of ‘Mainstream Adoption’.
“When all this [ag tech] came out, everybody said: Great, all this data is wonderful – we’re going to lock it. If you want your machine data, you must go to the machine platform. If you want your soil moisture data, you must go to that platform,” explains Daeley.
Daeley notes that in the next decade, collaboration is critical for longevity.
“We have to figure this out together because ultimately our customers that we serve, the growers, are adopting precision ag – [the majority of them] have something – but how do we get there? How do we put it into a platform that the average grower can use?”
We are heading in the right direction says Daeley with:
- ISOBUS universal protocol agreed machinery
- legacy datasets being moved out in 2020
- LoRa, SigFox, communication protocols
In the near future, compatibility across the board will be critical not only for the growers, but also the success of ag tech companies.
“I believe that if you lock data into a platform and won’t share it, the tech will not be around within the next ten years. Locking one piece of the puzzle won’t be accepted by the market. Growers are going to demand that we do it, co-ops are going to demand that we do it and they should,” says Daeley.
To learn more from data compatibility and transparency moving forward, watch the below video.