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Useful data management tips for farmers

Modern farmers need to keep and mind and manage enormous quantity of data.

As you go into 2016, however, it makes sense to know the kinds of data you’re working with, and understand the difference of each and their value for your farm.

Private data. This is truly private information, like credit card numbers or your Social Security number. This information should be protected, and is usually not shared or used by any of the tech firms serving agriculture.

Machine data. This is pretty self-explanatory. This information, often shared with the manufacturer, offers insight into machine productivity, causes of downtime and other information that can be deployed in future designs.

Agronomic data. This is information you gather from fields each year. It is information you would share with a trusted adviser to perhaps get a variable-rate fertilizer prescription file. This information is the core of some dispute as farmers work with more cloud-based systems. Knowing your agreements and what they say will help give you peace of mind about how this information is to be used.

Beyond data

If you’re getting into more cloud-based data systems, you’re going to want to make sure you have the infrastructure on your farm to get the best results. The data-transfer systems used by major manufacturers count on good cellular service to move that information from machine to cloud — and the companies have that worked out.

However, on your farm, it’s time to do an inventory of your computer resources. If you’re going to manage your operation from the cloud, you need to be connected with a good high-speed network. In addition, if you haven’t upgraded your computer in five years or more, consider a bump up to a new machine. Your on-farm “data infrastructure” should get a checkup every two or three years, given the way data plans and high-speed Web access prices keep changing.

Agricultural apps

Talking about your farm business and agricultural data, nowadays you can choose not just cloud services as a storage, but use cloud based ag application to lead your business more efficiently. For example, services like Cropio provide not just tools for managing general data about your fields, yields,  machinery  and fertilizers, but  also offers analytical tools for yield forecast and satellite images analysis in user-friendly format.

(Based on – http://farmindustrynews.com/technology-decision-time/data-management-2016)

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