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Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


The Big Data Confusion: Answering Your Questions about Digital Agriculture

Digital Agriculture includes large collections of farm data being used by farmers, companies, and government agencies to aid in decision making related to crop production and farm management.  It can also be used as a way to better predict nutrient availability, which in turns helps farmers make better agronomic decisions.  By using farm data to drive input management and other farm decisions, producers can identify and quantify which productivity variables are limiting agronomic growth. With agriculture becoming digital, it is important to understand how that data is being collected, interpreted, and then utilized.  This digital agriculture concept can be overwhelming, and this series aims to make sense of the Big Data presence within the agricultural community. 

In early 2015, a group of 34 organizations representing commodity groups, Ag Technology Providers, seed companies, and other agribusinesses joined together to support 13 principles that address farmer’s challenges and concerns surrounding Big Data and digital agriculture. This policy was drafted by the American Farm Bureau Federation and titled Privacy and Security Principles for Farm Data. In the following weeks, this series will serve to break down those principles so that producers can make educated choices about how their data is handled.  In addition to discussing AFBF’s Privacy Policy, this series will also explain enterprise agriculture, precision agriculture, and prescriptive agriculture.

Now more than ever, growers need to be aware of how their data is being used. As a grower, ask questions!  It is in your best interest to ask and learn all there is to know about something you don’t understand.  Knowing about digital agriculture is the first step towards being a good data steward and making better agronomic decisions.

Crop Observation and Recommendation Network

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.