When It Comes to Farm Data, How Good Is ‘Good Enough’?
Ron Farrell, a frequent sounding board for my wacky ideas and a source of ongoing encouragement to stay the course in this fast-changing industry, once told me to spend an appreciable amount of my time thinking about the business, writes Paul Schrimpf on CropLife.com.
As leader of the editorial group, it was, in fact, my duty to scan the horizon, look for challenges and opportunities, and stick a finger in the eye of the status quo, if necessary.
So, it was with this in mind a few years ago that I viewed Farmers Edge and its move into the U.S. market on the heels of success in Canada. My perception of this “off the shelf” solution to turning data into agronomic recommendation was that, while boots on the ground were important, a key aspect of its functionality was the algorithm it employed for generating the recommendations.
I wondered at the time if such an offering, combined with what I thought would be a more rapid consolidation of farming operations, perhaps could result in a greater reliance on algorithms by these consolidated farmers?
Follow me here … farm size can only increase as the comfort level of a farm manager increases with all the variables they manage. Could agronomy that a grower considers “good enough” be acceptable in exchange for rapid growth in acres controlled?
So, fast forward to last week, when I get another mind-bending call from Jeremy Wilson, my friend and precision agriculture warrior at CropIMS. He throws out the same question: “Paul, is ‘good enough’ good enough?”