More than 650 of America’s most innovative farmers, industry representatives, pioneers and master practitioners of data analytics came together at the first ever Farmer2Farmer Conference, hosted by Farmers Business Network. Experts in areas such as professional sports and the military discussed how analytics have transformed numerous industries by challenging conventional wisdoms, identifying and focusing on key performance metrics, and how farmers can do the same within agriculture.
“One of our goals is to help farmers leverage information so that they are in a significant position of power,” says Amol Deshpande, Farmers Business Network CEO and Co-Founder. “The concept of Moneyball farming encourages farmers to look at every ounce of performance to make tough decisions based on key metrics, and leverage that information to their advantage. Crowdsourcing agronomic data provides growers with price-to-performance transparency giving farmers another tool to identify the true “price-to-performance” of agricultural inputs and practices in their unique conditions—that’s ‘Moneyball‘ thinking.”
Farmers heard from experts who put the Moneyball philosophy to work outside of agriculture. Paul DePodesta, New York Mets general manager, and Bill James, preeminent statistician and research professional, provided their insights into making critical decisions that go against commonly accepted wisdoms and conventional practices. Lieutenant General Jim Huggins gave farmers insights into how the military uses data to make decisions that impact battle plans.
Farmers also heard from other farmers who gave real-world insights into how they made more effective decisions using data analysis. FBN experts also showed how FBN products and services can be used to manage inputs and make good management and business decisions.
FBN Announced Major Product Updates Including:
- Seed Nitrogen efficiency analytics for FBN Seed Finder—growers can now explore yield response of different N applications for hundreds of seeds.
- Mapping Overlays: Comparison of multiple layers of precision data with Swipe View.
- Upcoming field economic, fertility & chemical yield response; price & benchmarking analytics; and input return-on-investment analytics.
- Upcoming mobile applications for infield scouting, with networked pest/disease alerts.
FBN also announced the FBN Custom Procurement service that uses the power of the FBN farmer network and input price transparency analytics to significantly reduce the cost of crop inputs. Through the service farmers can receive market price transparency and procure chemicals direct from manufacturers with FBN negotiating on their behalf to secure the guaranteed best price.
“Data, and the use of data, should be simple,” says Charles Baron, FBN Vice President of Product and Co-Founder. “Farmers should always have access to the best information and tools to make the absolute best decisions for their own operations.”
This first Farmer2Farmer conference marks a major milestone for FBN, which was started in 2014, launched its services just 12 months ago and is now adding 150,000 acres of farmland per week to the network. “Farmer2Farmer shows the tremendous enthusiasm of farmers from all kinds of crops and regions for thinking differently and challenging the status quo in a difficult market.” adds Baron.