Alabama-based Agri-AFC, LLC, added its name today to the list of founding members of the Agricultural Data Coalition (ADC), becoming the 14th organization to join the group since its formation this spring.

ADC's mission is to build a secure repository where farmers can manage the volumes of production information generated by their farms. ADC expects Agri-AFC - a farm input retailer with locations in Alabama, Georgia, southern Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle - to provide valuable insights to help improve its technology and increase availability and adoption in key areas.

"Agri-AFC has a proven track record of helping growers maximize efficiency and profitability. And as a data-driven organization with a focus on innovation, constant improvement, and putting growers first, they are a perfect fit for ADC," explained Matt Bechdol, the group's interim executive director. "We're proud to have Agri-AFC as a member and look forward to working with them as we enter the next phase of the effort and prepare to come to market."

Bechdol noted that the ADC is currently conducting a pilot program of its data management system and hopes to publicly launch its technology before the year's end.

"Understanding and managing the multitude of technology offerings and the flood of data that is now generated on-farm are the biggest challenges we encounter with our producers," said Amy Winstead, Agri-AFC's director of ag technologies. "Partnering with the ADC will enable us to continue working with our growers to manage and catalog their data while aligning with our goal to provide a seamless and transparent approach to ‘Big Data' for our customers."

She also explained that, to date, farmers have been unable to tap their farm data's full potential because of hurdles to housing and transmitting information in a centralized and flexible way.

Once operational, farmers will be able to upload information to the ADC repository and manage who has access to it - whether they be researchers, insurance agents, government officials, farm managers, input providers or others.

ADC invited several leading companies, universities, and associations to be founders of the coalition and help build the repository, and it noted that Agri-AFC will be the group's final founding member.

Others include: AGCO, American Farm Bureau Federation, Auburn University, CNH Industrial, Crop IMS, Ice Miller, Iowa AgSTATE, Mississippi State University, The Ohio State University, Purdue University, Raven Industries, Topcon Positioning Group and University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Agri-AFC was formed in 2003 as a joint venture between Alabama Farmers Cooperative and WinField Solutions, a wholly owned entity of Land O'Lakes. It operates 28 agronomy retail locations, two professional product distribution centers, multiple fertilizer terminals and a cotton gin and warehouse.