Trip 1: Data “truths” hunches

By Jason Tatge | Published Oct. 30, 2019

Editors note: Take a look back on this year’s observations from the road trips with Jason Tatge, Farmobile CEO .

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From the Driver’s Log, Spring 2019:Mark Bauer is a great guy and I was thrilled he was able to go truckin’ with me this past spring. During our trip through central KS, Mark and I discussed what it means to have a digital strategy on the farm and how we can translate data into decisions. (We also talked about how real-time data creates true fleet value for his co-op.) Mark is a Precision Ag Specialist at the Great Bend Co-op, where he combines his love for agriculture, and, obviously, technology to help growers optimize crops and return on investments.

Here are key three takeaways from my talk with Mark (and we talked a lot!):

1 – Especially in years with unpredictable and challenging weather (like this year), having data to inform go-forward decision is a huge advantage. Even more importantly, having access to that data quickly, before it’s too late to make a decision is vital. It’s all about turning observation into action at the right moment. The value of usable data the next day is king. And it’s more than just one decision –– it’s the ability to understand what worked and what was right, and inform decisions to come.

2 – Lots of growers and retailers are investing in new varieties of seeds, new pesticides and more, but it’s hard to tell whether you made a good investment if you’re not tracking the data and making apples-to-apples comparisons. That’s the key right now, figuring out ROI and whether or not you’re getting your money’s worth.

3 – There are so many incredible advantages to having a digital strategy on the farm:

  1. Death to the thumb drive
  2. Having application (spraying and spreading) data
  3. And, one that folks often forget, fleet management and logistics

Sometimes improving your yield is as simple as learning your fleet is spending too much time idling. It’s just wasted money, and an easy win to keep costs down in application.


Of course, we talked about a lot more (death to the thumb drive, anyone?). Continue reading for more of the conversation in Trip 1: The Extra Mile – Data to dollars.

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SPECIAL THANKS to Mark Bauer and Great Bend Co-Op for coming out on the road with us! To learn more about them, visit their website here.

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