Precision Farming: What’s Your Data Worth to You?

Precision Farming: What’s Your Data Worth to You?

Today’s farm equipment today comes with more bells, whistles and blinking lights than Captain Nemo’s submarine, and most of those special features go unused, writes Raney Rapp on


The question is, what are those features and the data they collect worth on the farm?

During the recent Kansas State University Risk and Profit Conference cropping systems economist Terry Griffin delved deeper into the worth of farm data using examples from a court case he consulted on. The gist: during maintenance the yield monitor data on a combine was destroyed and the farm sued the mechanics for damages.

Big numbers about big data weren’t hard for Griffin to find. Lost revenue from delayed planting and the inability to sell the farm data to a “big data” company racked up a pretty high price tag.

The problem came not in proving data was worth a lot, but in proving data was worth a lot to the farmer.

“The defense did not have an issue with the money number we recommended,” Griffin said. “The problem came, and ultimately the lawsuit failed, when the farmer was asked how often he backed up his data.”