Demystifying Farm Data

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Q&A with Lane Arthur, Director of John Deere Information Solutions at the Intelligent Solutions Group.

Farm data has been around for a long time. Why is managing it efficiently still overwhelming for some farmers? Is there a gap between what many think ‘farm data management’ means vs. the practical aspects of leveraging this data to make good decisions on the farm?
Running a successful farm requires producers to take on many different roles. They need to be agronomists, logistics experts, HR managers, payroll managers, marketers, accountants, mechanics, supply and equipment managers, and much more. Managing farm data poses a challenge for producers, as it presents yet another role in which they need to be proficient. Compounding this challenge are factors outside producers’ control that impact each of their decisions — like weather. Data management isn’t going to give producers all the answers they need, but good data does help support farmers’ already amazing intuition in decision-making.

Why is it important that growers take the time to adopt a data management system that works for them? Does it impact the bottom line? Save time? Other benefits?
Good data management should be the foundation of a successful farming operation, as it can impact all aspects of decision-making on a farm.
Gathering data each year is the key to learning, as it can offer insight over time into how different decisions impact a farm’s output.
Each farm, each year and each management style is different, so having this data allows individual producers to make the right decisions for their individual farms, helping them gain the best possible return on their investment. By taking records and decisions to a granular level producers will see the impact on their bottom line.

What is the biggest hurdle, in transferring data from the machine to a home computer? Can you give some examples of how JD has simplified the process of transferring farm data?
John Deere understands that producers are busy wearing many different hats. One of the hurdles in good data management is simply getting the information off the machine. Many times good information never leaves the cab of the tractor, sprayer or combine.
To address this issue, John Deere created an easy, reliable connection between the producer and their machines, JDLink™. By providing a wireless data transfer, JDLink™ allows producers to:

- See critical and timely information about their machines, online

- Move data to and from their machines—easily, securely, and wirelessly

- Support their machines and people, to keep their operation running.

As part of the complete John Deere solution growers can move their data between the cab and the John Deere Operations Center. The John Deere Operations Center is an online tool that provides information about their farm, when they need it, where they need it. This means they can see, collaborate and direct their information to gain insights and execute their plans with more precision in the field. JDLink™ also alleviates the need to chase around USB sticks on top of the many other things they need to manage during their busiest times of the year. Once farmers transfer their data into the John Deere Operations Center, they can then access many ways to share that information with their trusted advisors or use the data themselves.
At the end of the day, John Deere wants to give the farmer one less thing to worry about, allowing them to focus on where they can add the most value to their business.

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