AgGateway is a non-profit organization with the goal to helping agri-businesses manage complex data to increase efficiency and productivity. The organization has more than 200 member companies, including ag retailers, distributors, manufacturers (equipment, seed, crop nutrition, crop protection, etc.), grain and feed companies, precision ag providers, specialty chemical manufacturers, and software and data service providers.
AgGateway just released its 5-year strategic plan, which highlights the how the industry will face economic, environmental, regulatory and marketing challenges in 2018 and beyond.
The report, "AgGateway in Action", details accomplishments and three goals for the organization.
Those goals include:
- Digital Ag Leadership: Establish AgGateway as the leader in the transition to digital agriculture by enabling development and implementation of capabilities that efficiently integrate the entire value chain.
- Member Value: Ensure AgGateway provides value through expanding influence, developing solutions to industry challenges, and implementing strategies which allow for growth and investment.
- Increase Membership and Engagement: Increase membership and engagement in AgGateway to accelerate the digital agriculture transformation by demonstrating value and communicating opportunities and achievements.
And accomplishments range across all of the councils that comprise AgGateway.
Ag Retail Council is focusing on spreading the word about value/return on-investment in establishing electronic connections.
“We have seen a return on investment as high as 50 to 1 annually, just due to reducing shrink. It only takes about 10 to 12 bags of seed corn lost in a year to pay for the technology,” says Randy Fry, Data Process and Information Systems Manager, Ceres Solutions.
The council conducted a seminar at the Mid-Year Meeting, produced and promoted with the Seed Council and AIDC Task Force a new video on the benefits of connectivity, including in-plant interviews. The council will be presenting case study content at the Ag Retailers Association Annual Conference.
Seed Council is assisting the Ag Retail Council and AIDC Task Force in producing case studies on the rapid return-on investment in going electronic.
“We’ve cut entry time by two-thirds – Push a button and it’s there accurately. Inventory control has doubled. The price sheet has eliminated mistakes. Sales people and management have confidence that they have the right price…. What used to take days to key in is now done within minutes,” says Ann Vande Lune, Agronomy Administrator, Key Cooperative
The council is promoting a new value calculator to show time savings of implementing specific electronic messages at the distributor and retail level. At Annual Conference, the council will hold a “Seed Quick Connect” session to spur implementation of electronic connections between trading partners.
Crop Nutrition Council – This year the council created an XML Order Create map in Excel to provide more ways for crop nutrition companies and channel partners to send information electronically. It is also promoting a value calculator to demonstrate the value of implementing electronic information exchange.
Crop Protection Council has reviewed business rules for eConnectivity messaging, allowing crop protection companies to adapt to the latest and best business processes as they make new electronic connections in this sector. The council is also working on message implementation, identification (using standard identifiers), and further adoption and engagement in the industry.
“AgGateway connectivity projects have allowed Syngenta to communicate with our trading partners more efficiently and accurately. We have seen internal efficiencies as well, due to decreased manual processes and EDI transactions. It has enabled Syngenta to become a better trading partner,” says Lori Edwards, Business Process Consultant Lead, Syngenta.
It is also promoting a solution on the issue of multiple GLNs (global location numbers) in warehouses, and continues work on product directory use improvements.
Grain & Feed Council’s top activity is CART (part of the Precision Ag Council SPADE project), which facilitates grain traceability from combine to grain cart, to truck, to elevator, to food processor. In 2017 the council neared completion of the standards, which are expected to help the industry address traceability and the regulatory needs of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). In October the council held a successful proof-of-concept demonstration on a Midwest grain farm.
Precision Ag Council has been hard at work completing the third phase of the SPADE project on interoperability in field operations. Teams have documented planting, harvest (mechanical & non-mechanical) and crop protection. Work continues for CART (grain movement), crop nutrition, reference data API, regulator reporting, scouting, and WAVE (Telematics). A key focus are the implementation guidelines. On the PAIL irrigation project, teams are submitting the new irrigation standard to the standards organization ASABE, with implementation expected to move into full swing in 2018. In addition, the ADAPT Committee is moving forward with a minimum viable product and several data service companies are now piloting ADAPT, an open-source toolkit that will simplify communication between growers, their machines and their partners.
Specialty Chemical Council has completed a sales and inventory standardized “flat file”, and is now piloting the standard before promoting its use in the industry. A unit of measure and packaging initiative is also underway. Allied Providers Council members are the technology, data and service providers who work across councils and committees to provide input and support. Many members help develop and test standards and guidelines to foster industry-wide implementation.