Wednesday, September 19, 2018
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UNL can help farmers deal with data

LINCOLN—The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has joined a new initiative aimed at helping farmers better control, manage and maximize the value of the data they collect every day in their fields.

Producers analyze agricultural data during a Nebraska Extension Precision Ag Data Management Workshop. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a founding member of the Agricultural Data Coalition. (John Fulton/The Ohio State University)

The Agricultural Data Coalition is the result of years of planning and coordination by UNL, AGCO, the American Farm Bureau Federation, Auburn University, CNH Industrial, Crop IMS, The Ohio State University, Mississippi State University, Raven Industries and Topcon Positioning Group.

The coalition’s goal is to build a national online repository where farmers can securely store and control the information collected by their tractors, harvesters, aerial drones and other devices. Over time, that data can be scrubbed, synced and transmitted in an efficient and uniform way to third parties including researchers, crop insurance agents, government officials, farm managers, input providers and farm advisers.

“There have been extensive activities focused on agriculture data management platforms within the past couple of years and we’re excited to be part of such advances in which the farmers’ needs are at the core of the platform development process with input from a variety of industry partners,” said Joe Luck, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering. “I think the development approach taken by the ADC will serve as an industry model for adding value to small and large farm operations with respect to agricultural data privacy, access and utilization.”

A press briefing took place March 3 in New Orleans for media attending the annual Commodity Classic.

“The key is that farmers are in complete control, and they decide who is allowed access to their data,” said Matt Bechdol, interim executive director of the coalition. “That’s what sets ADC apart. This is not about profit for others, it’s about streamlining data management, establishing clear lines of control and helping growers utilize their data in ways that ultimately benefit them.”

Farmers interested in learning more about data collection and organizations interested in joining the coalition’s efforts should visit

Joe Luck, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it