Chat sites for agriculture are nothing new. You can share what you know, but unless you happen to know the person responding, there is no good way to gauge the credibility of the person making comments.
Kenny Johnson and Kent Bennis came up with a better way for people in agriculture to share information efficiently. Johnson is a certified crop adviser with eight years of experience working in management for a global ag company in central Indiana. Bennis has 25 years of experience working for global ag companies. Today, he farms in Iowa.
With the help of their software engineer, Johnson and Bennis created TopYield Ag, a free and independent networking platform for growers and ag professionals. “The platform intends to help users connect with unbiased and credible sources in an efficient way,” Johnson says. “That will benefit farmers, extension, ag consultants, college students and agribusiness people.”
After a well-respected Indiana farmer heard Johnson and Bennis talk about their project, he recommended that Indiana Prairie Farmer explore it. The best way to learn is to enter a profile, create a post and receive responses. You can learn something about who responds by checking their profile. You can see their location and what they list as their occupation.
Here are a few questions you might have. Johnson provided answers. When you’re ready, visit topyield.ag.
How is this site different from existing chat platforms? Posts are categorized across nine different dimensions — nutrient management, crop marketing, pest management, soil and water management, crop management, machinery, precision ag, sustainability, and livestock — each with its own subtopics, so users can sort between content, focusing on areas of interest and reducing noise on the platform.
How does someone know about the people who are making comments? Users have profiles with their background on it helping someone that posts know who is responding to them. In addition, you can see what content they have posted or responded to in the past. This is all reflected in a user’s reputation that appears next to their name or under their profile picture.
Universities, including Iowa State Extension, uses TopYield Ag, bringing credibility to the application. See two recent posts from Extension specialists: Engineering your farm podcast and Endangered species and XtendiMax, Engenia and Tavium applications.
If someone posts a question, how do others know it’s posted? Or if someone could answer another user’s question, how do they know about it? If a user follows you, they will be notified if you post or respond. Or a user can tag other users to the post. They would receive an email notifying them that you need their assistance.
Are new features coming? Yes. We’re currently working to get TopYield Ag in app stores by May 2021 to further enhance our ability to reach ag people. Check out TopYield Ag to get answers for some of your most important decisions facing agriculture and your operation.