The free online service, Yield Pop, is made so that consultants, farmers and suppliers in the agriculture industry can communicate better.
The site became open to the public in January in both the U.K. and the U.S. It hosts a discussion forum for any topic related to agriculture and a mapping tool that integrates the users’ input to create a map showing crop trends in different areas so that farmers can share and learn challenges and progress related to particular crops and particular areas.
While other forums are available, Yield Pop is different because the users must publish information about themselves and what they are farming. “We want the service to be transparent so that people know who they are talking to,” said co-founder Alex Wimbush of Wisconsin.
Because of this transparency, answers can be sorted by relevancy. For example, an answer posted by a user in a similar geographical area or farming a similar crop would be deemed more relevant than a user involved in a different cropping system. In addition to this, the transparency will make it so that users’ expertise and affiliations in the industry will be known, according to co-founder Matthew Perkins of the U.K.
Yield Pop also allows users to rate answers. “This component will allow the most helpful answers to rise to the top and help farmers filter out the noise,” said Perkins.
At the moment, all features on Yield Pop are completely free to users, but the site hopes to add paid services such as report tracking that gives information on what forums and topics are popular and might prove most useful to those in the agriculture industry.