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Using your farm data

Using your farm data

Niagara College’s Research Crop Portal can help make data management easier

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Sometimes, working with equipment from different manufacturers can make farm data management challenging.

But Niagara College’s Research Crop Portal can help make that process easier for farmers, said Sarah Lepp, a senior research associate from Niagara College.

“Let’s say you’re harvesting corn” and your yield monitor creates proprietary files, Lepp told attendees of the Farms.com Precision Agriculture Conference & Ag Tech Showcase. “Right now, you have to convert those files to a CSV or a shape file. But if you have those and you want to look at your data and work with it, you can come over” to the Research Crop Portal.

Once farm data is uploaded, farmers can view it in different ways, identify potential trends or crop damage, and set field boundaries.

Producers can also use the portal to clean their data, Lepp said.

“It’s taking that histogram and chopping off everything that might not be accurately representing your yield,” she said. “It helps bring out patterns and helps show you the highs and lows in your field.”

One specific tool, Delta Clean, allows farmers to clean specific portions of their data, Lepp added.

“The whole idea with Delta Clean is that it calculates the differences from point to point to point,” she said. “It’s another way of cleaning data without losing too many of the data points.”

Additionally, the Crop Portal can help growers view elevation changes within fields.

“We give you the tools so you can make those management zones,” Lepp said.

One such tool Niagara College is integrating into its portal is Reservoir X (RRx).

Rick Willemse, a cash crop producer from Parkhill, Ont. developed the prescription algorithm to help him achieve high yields.

RRx is a variable rate prescription tool that “takes all the maps and things that the Crop Portal puts together and allows you to … make a prescription” based on them, Willemse said during the Precision Ag conference.

He’s working with the Niagara College team to develop the product for commercialization, Willemse said.

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