Aggregating data and big data
Aggregating data basically is referring to using “big data” and is the future of precision agriculture according to agricultural information specialists.
Terry Griffin, Ph.D., vice-president applied economics for Cresco Ag, Memphis “Data has no value; it has zero value … If the data has been applied in some manner then it is information. That is a distinction that I want to make … We turn data into information then knowledge and finally value,” said Terry Griffin, Ph.D., vice-president applied economics for Cresco Ag, Memphis, an independent information management company. He made the comment during this year’s InfoAg precision ag conference.
Over the years, there have been gaps in converting data into useable information—gaps in converting data into farm management decisions. But today, according to Griffin, hardware and software limitations “for the most part have gone away with the gap having been largely filled.”
TIME FOR MORE SOLUTIONS
Now the emphasis is transitioning to taking that data and doing more with it. It is 15 years into precision ag, and we now have the potential to have big data for solutions to questions and making recommendations to farmers, said Dan Frieberg, owner of Premier Crop Systems, West Des Moines, Iowa
Dan Frieberg, owner of Premier Crop Systems, West Des Moines, Iowa “Maps are a wonderful way to visualize data. The real power is the data file underneath all the maps and the ability to organize everything into a database structure beyond what you can visualize,” Frieberg said. The map isn’t the goal, but information for decision making is the goal, he explained.
There are interactions going on in every field that can better be understood with the analysis capabilities of today. Frieberg suggested that 30,000 observations or data points could influence final yield and be collected per year from 3,000 acres of farm ground.
“How much information do you need to make decisions? But more importantly, how much management skill do you need to make the best decisions?” said Griffin.
Data overwhelms people, but third-party specialists are progressing in their ability to assist farmers. It just means that farmers have to share their data in a wider universe to gain the knowledge from aggregated data.
SHARING DATA IS NECESSARY
Sharing data will proceed fast if consultants and ag precision specialists convince their clients and potential clients that sharing data makes life and precision farming easier.