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Farmers use DIY approach with data

Willie Vogt data-management-harvest-092721.jpg
ROLLING DATA GATHERER: The modern combine is also a sophisticated device for capturing in-field information. When combined with as-applied data farmers have plenty of information to improve management. New Farm Progress PANEL shows how respondents take on that challenge.
The Farm Progress PANEL asked what farmers do with information after harvest; looks like most are going it alone

The amount of information being gathered on farms these days as newer machines record every action is an opportunity for improving farm management. With that rising pile of information how do you put it to work? It turns out, at least for Farm Progress PANEL respondents, the do-it-yourself approach seems to be popular.

We asked the panel the following: "After you park the combine, how do you work with data you've collected on the farm?" Since yield monitors have been in the market since the mid 1990s, and most later model machines come equipped with these devices, is it time to seek an adviser? Not according to these respondents.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) shared that they evaluate the information themselves. This do-it-yourself approach has advantages, and disadvantages. But it appears the advantages outweigh any concerns. One factor that may play into this is lack of a trusted adviser, or concern about data sharing. However, there are opportunities with the right partner to fine-tune decision making on the farm.

The rest of the answer garnered a smaller portion of responses. For example, just 13% of respondents say they work with a trusted adviser. The "trusted adviser" phrase has become popular as more data-gathering and interpretation tools become available. Local cooperatives and other service providers offer the potential to work with individual farmer data to enhance management; but the operative word is "trusted."

Just under one-tenth of respondents say the print the maps for their records and do little more with them. Those yield-map notebooks do have a treasure trove of information if you do some cross-year interpretation and tabulation. Just something to consider.

Finally, 14% of respondents say they do nothing with the information because they haven't found it valuable.

While this is a digital survey, the weight of the do-it-yourself shows we're still in the infancy of putting farm data to work.

Thanks to everyone who responded to these PANEL questions.

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Be a part of the PANEL

The Farm Progress PANEL is your chance to share your thoughts on key issues. To take part, start by signing up for our daily mobile text service Farm Progress NOW, we noted above. Later in one of our daily texts we'll provide information about how to sign up for the PANEL. And thanks to the respondents for helping us out.

TAGS: Harvest
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