To share or not to share? For farmers working in a world of data management, that is the question, writes Nat Williams on IllinoisFarmerToday.com.
Some are comfortable relaying information about their operation to crop consultants, seed salesmen and other farms. Some are not. And others just aren’t sure what is best.
Mike Lewis, who farms near Harrisburg, IL, in Saline County, discusses farming practices with his neighbors, as always. But he’s a bit more leery when it comes to others in the profit chain.
“We verbally talk. It’s just something we do,” Lewis said of other farmers while attending a combine clinic at an implement dealership here. “If it’s something we’re thinking about trying and he’s done it before us, we might get some useful hints from his education in the school of hard knocks.”
Lewis isn’t as free with his information when it comes to those he doesn’t trust fully.
“I don’t let anybody else have it, mainly,” he said. “We have a crop consultant now, and he understands what I’m going after. He’s supposed to be keeping it quiet. But everything is used against you anymore.”
Jason Bosaw, who farms about 13,000 acres near Junction, IL, in Gallatin County, lives in a sharing community. He regularly compares production notes with his neighbors and believes they all benefit.
“Down here, we all share information because we get better results and better crops,” Bosaw said. “Instead of 12,000 or 14,000 acres, if we’ve got 36,000 or 40,000 acres sharing information, everybody is going to benefit from it.”