Think Data First: Tiny Aggregations Matter

A heartbeat away from the Kansas-Nebraska border, in the cozy Eastern Plains outpost of Eckley, CO (population: 257), Dr. Chad Godsey, president and owner, Godsey Precision Ag, has been consulting on over 100,000 acres annually – the majority being dryland irrigated corn and wheat – since 2012.

Godsey and his team offer a wide array of precision ag services, from the common (nitrogen management, grid sampling) to the decidedly uncommon (variable rate peanut fungicide!), but one of their specialties is setting up on-farm evaluation trials, and then aggregating that data at the end of the season.

“In the case of corn, if we do some seeding rate trials on a producer’s field we may use that data next year to fine tune seeding rates for that specific producer and his specific management practices,” explains Godsey on a blazing hot mid-June day from out west.

From Godsey’s perspective as a grower-facing consultant, working with individual land-owners to optimize practices and processes as much as possible, the data revolution in agriculture is less Big Data, more “petite data.”

“A farmer’s perspective on Big Data, or even a consultant like me, is a lot different than the Big Six, because they are all about that Big Data aggregation,” he says. “For me, I could care less, I just want to aggregate that farmer’s data – because I’m just focused on his operation under his unique set of circumstances. It’s just a different level of data aggregation I guess, and at times I think (the value of) smaller aggregations can get a little overlooked.”

Most of Godsey’s work with aggregating data from on-farm trials involves in-field product efficacy evaluations. Basically, a farmer wants to know will this product that I’ve never used before work on my farm. He gives Godsey around 2 acres to run his evaluation trials (irrigation rate trials, according to Godsey, are done on a much larger scale, sometimes taking one-half to two-thirds of a field), and at the end of the year Godsey presents the data and his findings to the farmer. Even being an independent Pioneer seed dealer, Godsey says “we really try to take an independent role on that. If a producer has a specific interest in a product, we’ll work with them to evaluate it, regardless of whose product it is.

“I want to see how a product or a hybrid or variety responds to their management system, because everybody kind of has their own unique management practices to some extent, and I think that’s the beauty of where we’re at in precision ag currently.”

And it almost goes without saying that an additional big part of Godsey’s day-to-day is helping producers capture the cleanest data possible. His team always has to be Thinking Data First.

“There’s that old adage ‘junk in, junk out’, so take the time to make sure the right hybrid is selected, things like that, the small things in the beginning,” Godsey says. “We see more and more mistakes made at planting where stuff is not entered correctly, and you get to the end of the year and you think you’ll remember but you don’t.

“We work with some of the most progressive producers around, but yet we still find errors where a hybrid didn’t get switched – which is easy to do when you’re in a rush – just take the time to get that quality data because if you’re not confident in the data, your conclusions or recommendations or your findings at the end of the year, you’re just not as confident in them.”

For the coming fall harvest season, Godsey recommends having all your Is dotted and your Ts crossed before hoping into the combine and mashing the gas.

“If you know you have trials on the field, having the as-applied (data) or the prescriptions in your combine on the monitor when you’re going across the field – there’s a lot of things that can be learned on the combine, and that’s typically when guys are thinking about it,” he advises. “And having your monitor set up properly and your yield monitor calibrated are the two biggest things, obviously.”

UAVs Still Not Chipping In ROI

Although not officially offered to his clients as a service just yet, Dr. Chad Godsey has gotten himself familiar with drones over the last few years, hoping to experience a kind of come-to-Jesus moment where the technologies’ profitability basically jumps out and slaps him square in the face.

He’s still waiting.

“It’s the same thing (with data aggregation), farmers want solutions, and in the case of imagery, they don’t just want pictures,” Godsey opines. “Imagery is the hot thing now, but adoption at the farm level is pretty low to date, because we have to figure out how to utilize it.”

Selling his customers on the value of implementing aerial imagery into their operations has also proven quite the challenge for Godsey’s team, which is really saying something since these guys spend 365 days a year selling clients on the usefulness and practicality of various ag tech offerings.

“For us if we’ve got to charge two or three dollars an acre to make a little bit of money on imagery, producers aren’t willing to pay that because a lot of times they aren’t going to see anything that is useful.”

Topics: , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Data Stories
DataSentera Honored With Startup Award Of 2016 By Minnesota High Tech Association
December 1, 2016
The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) recently recognized Sentera as the 2016 Tekne Startup Award recipient. The MHTA Tekne Awards Read More
Farmers Edge Truck
DataFarmers Edge, Trotter Fertilizer Form Partnership To Enhance VRT Programs
November 29, 2016
Farmers Edge, a global leader in precision agriculture and independent data management solutions, has partnered with Trotter Fertilizer, Nebraska’s foremost Read More
BusinessFarmobile Releases Mobile Data Visualization Dashboard
November 17, 2016
Farmobile today announced an EFR Dashboard, a real-time dashboard that helps farmers visualize their field data and derive insights to Read More
Southern States
Best PracticesSouthern States: 5 Tips for Variable-Rate Seeding Success
November 15, 2016
Success comes from taking advantage of every opportunity you can. One technique used in precision farming, called variable rate seeding, Read More
Trending Articles
GVM E-Series cab
Ag Tech GlobalGlobalization And Precision Agriculture
December 7, 2016
Globalization has taken on a negative connotation in some circles in the U.S. in recent months. The lightning rod for Read More
Farmers Edge Truck
DataFarmers Edge, Trotter Fertilizer Form Partnership To Enhance VRT Programs
November 29, 2016
Farmers Edge, a global leader in precision agriculture and independent data management solutions, has partnered with Trotter Fertilizer, Nebraska’s foremost Read More
Kinze 4900 Multi-Hybrid Concept Planter
Business ManagementKinze Fights Deere, Feds To Block Release Of Trade Secrets
November 22, 2016
An antitrust lawsuit intended to block a small-scale deal between agricultural giants John Deere and Monsanto is putting an Iowa Read More
BusinessClimate Corp. Acquires European FMIS Company
November 21, 2016
Today, The Climate Corp., a subsidiary of Monsanto Co., announced the acquisition of VitalFields, a European farm management software company Read More
USDA UAV
Hort TechHigh-Tech Agriculture Continues To Reap Rewards For Farmers
November 11, 2016
Just like a smartphone helps users learn, communicate and make important decisions, smart technology — known as precision agriculture — Read More
BusinessTrimble Launches New FMIS Platform
November 7, 2016
Trimble announced today that it is consolidating three of its agriculture software products — Connected Farm, Farm Works Software and Read More
Latest News
AgBot16 Challenge
Hort TechUSDA Announces $3 Million For Agricultural Robotics Res…
December 8, 2016
The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced the availability of $3 million in available funding for Read More
BASF Maglis Grower Tablet
Business ManagementPrecision Farming Forecast: 4 Challenges, Opportunities…
December 7, 2016
Opportunities and challenges. They are the yin and yang of the business world. It could easily be argued that, out Read More
GVM E-Series cab
Ag Tech GlobalGlobalization And Precision Agriculture
December 7, 2016
Globalization has taken on a negative connotation in some circles in the U.S. in recent months. The lightning rod for Read More
Buhler Versatile HQ cab
BusinessThe State Of Precision Ag In 2016
December 7, 2016
There’s no denying that precision technologies and practices are more vibrant than ever. Elsewhere on this site, you will find Read More
BusinessFarmobile Details New AGCO Distribution Deal
December 6, 2016
Farmobile today announced a strategic partnership with AGCO, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment. The agreement will allow Read More
Hort TechSol Chip Launches Autonomous, Wireless Solar Tag for Sm…
December 6, 2016
Sol Chip, a provider of Internet of Things (IoT) systems and energy harvesting solutions, today announced the introduction of its Read More
TechnologyAgGateway Announces 2017 Board Of Directors And Leaders…
December 2, 2016
AgGateway has announced its leadership for the coming year, including the directors of its new Strategic Board and Operational Board, Read More
DataSentera Honored With Startup Award Of 2016 By Minnesota…
December 1, 2016
The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) recently recognized Sentera as the 2016 Tekne Startup Award recipient. The MHTA Tekne Awards Read More
AGCO AgControl
TechnologyPrecision Ag Technology: Rate Control For The Times
December 1, 2016
It’s not surprising that the need for more economical, effective application is driving the demand for the latest rate controllers Read More
Farmers Edge Truck
DataFarmers Edge, Trotter Fertilizer Form Partnership To En…
November 29, 2016
Farmers Edge, a global leader in precision agriculture and independent data management solutions, has partnered with Trotter Fertilizer, Nebraska’s foremost Read More
Fall corn
BusinessInsecticide of the Future? Robotic Tanks With Lasers to…
November 22, 2016
*Article Notes: This monthly column takes some crazy sounding ideas and applies them to the field of Ag Tech. The Read More
Topcon X30 Console in cab
Sensors/IoTIoT The Focus Of New Topcon Partnership
November 22, 2016
Topcon Agriculture and SDF plan to enter into a non-exclusive long-term partnership agreement. This latest arrangement of Topcon with a Read More
Kinze 4900 Multi-Hybrid Concept Planter
Business ManagementKinze Fights Deere, Feds To Block Release Of Trade Secr…
November 22, 2016
An antitrust lawsuit intended to block a small-scale deal between agricultural giants John Deere and Monsanto is putting an Iowa Read More
BusinessClimate Corp. Acquires European FMIS Company
November 21, 2016
Today, The Climate Corp., a subsidiary of Monsanto Co., announced the acquisition of VitalFields, a European farm management software company Read More
BusinessFarmobile Releases Mobile Data Visualization Dashboard
November 17, 2016
Farmobile today announced an EFR Dashboard, a real-time dashboard that helps farmers visualize their field data and derive insights to Read More
Southern States
Best PracticesSouthern States: 5 Tips for Variable-Rate Seeding Succe…
November 15, 2016
Success comes from taking advantage of every opportunity you can. One technique used in precision farming, called variable rate seeding, Read More
USDA UAV
Hort TechHigh-Tech Agriculture Continues To Reap Rewards For Far…
November 11, 2016
Just like a smartphone helps users learn, communicate and make important decisions, smart technology — known as precision agriculture — Read More
THRIVE
BusinessCall For Ag Tech Startups: Apply To THRIVE’s Open…
November 10, 2016
THRIVE is looking for high growth ag tech companies with an in-market solution that are positioned to scale. The top 50 Read More