From the Driver’s Log. I was very excited to take a trip back to my home state, Minnesota, to visit with Farmobile Services+ first client – Centra Sota’s CEO Jeff Johnson. Jeff is a progressive leader with a top-notch precision ag team; which continually looks for new ways to help farmers prosper through the use of results-based solutions and technologies, all driven by better data.
Here are three key takeaways from my conversation with Jeff.
We’ve finally reached a point of digital harmony, where we’re able to really leverage the collected data in ways that we’ve always imagined was possible. There’s an important convergence of the data layers, and the number of years data is collected, to uncover insights that have been just out of reach. Importantly, it’s not just about harnessing more data, but knowing how to organize it and using it effectively. For example, better understanding profitability on an individual field level can open the door to conversations and decisions about changes on field use in ways we’ve never before had the data to back.
As a result of this, the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification program, for example, is shifting from just an environmental opportunity to an invaluable economic opportunity. The data that growers are gathering will help to expand and understand their operations, more wisely be able to spread their fertilizer, and generally better prepare for the future with the right tools to make informed decisions. It’s not just about cooperative sustainability, but sustainability for the growers’ business, too. Cenra Sota Co-op is currently in the process of earning the 4R Certification.
Part of that economic opportunity is power. Data is not just about better decisions in the field, but also about helping the farmer make the case to lenders and other players in the agriculture industry to support their business, based on real data proof. Data can help growers understand where spending money can bring higher ROI for them in the future. The economy of agriculture isn’t stale, it’s instead being rebuilt on the back of data to help put the power back in the hands of the grower to own the decisions about their business.