Posted June 24, 2014
Iowa farm and community organizations are supporting a project that will “harness the power of agricultural data to the benefit of farmers,” according Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) release available here. Brownfield Ag News also published the article hereand Pork Network here.
The “Big Data Strategy and Implementation Plan” is backed by Iowa AgState and was developed by the Hale Group of Danvers, Mass. The plan aims to immediately obtain all relevant facts about how agricultural data is collected, shared, analyzed, and used.
Brian Kemp, ISA president and AgState chair, said that Big Data is not a new issue for agriculture, but the ability to collect, interpret, and manipulative data is an increasing issue that requires action.
“This project will be conducted at the strategic level addressing many components, namely data ownership and control,” said Kemp, who farms near Sibley. “By harnessing the knowledge of existing data and how it can be used, farmers can influence policy more effectively, develop appropriate user and privacy agreements and drive mutually beneficial relationships with those whom we do business.”
Dean Lemke, nutrient management and environmental stewardship director of the Agribusiness Association of Iowa and member of the AgState Big Data task force, said the project complements other regional and national projects focused on similar issues.
“The Hale Group has unique capabilities to do the work to benefit the greater industry,” Lemke said. “They will do a thorough job of gathering information from many sources on the topic of Big Data, define what’s most meaningful to farmers and how they can capitalize on it and then share these findings with all stakeholders.”
Farmers do not wish to “stop Big Data,” however, they wish to influence the way it is developed and introduced to growers, said Bob Ludwig of The Hale Group.
For more information on checkoff programs, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.