What do you think of when you hear the word ‘data’? Is it the latest Facebook hack, government surveillance, or something far more sinister? Data has gotten a bad rep in recent years – but the truth is, it’s a natural and integral part of our technological landscape today. The same is true for Ontario agriculture and Canadian farms as a whole; with a growing reliance on automated technologies, we’ll need to utilize data to keep things running and improve efficiency.
Don’t let data get you down – here’s how agricultural data can be used to raise your output and ensure your farm stays competitive in today’s climate.
What Are the Big Concerns?
At the moment, the biggest barrier to increased data reliance is mistrust from Canadian farmers. This mistrust comes from an understandable place, as our agriculture industry does not yet have any protocols to regulate the privacy or security of farming data, and no laws explicitly protecting it. Because of this lack of standards, individuals are having to manage ag-tech companies on their own, negotiating with them on a case-by-case basis to ensure the proper handling of their information.
Many farmers have suggested implementing an industry-set process to anonymize data: removing names, location and other sensitive information before data is stored or transmitted. However, until formal standards are put in place, it’s important to work with ag-tech companies that have your back. Any trustworthy organisation will be able to answer any questions you have about how they store your data, how it is used to benefit your farm, and where (if anywhere) that data is sent.
The Benefits of Agricultural Data Systems
Partnering with a Canadian ag-tech business can provide our farmers with the tools they need to revolutionise agriculture. Here are just some of the many ways that farm data management can work for you:
· Managing pest control
Few things cut into a farm’s profits like a nasty infestation. Unfortunately, overusing pesticides can negatively impact the crops, and even harm the people in surrounding areas. That’s where new platforms across Canada are stepping in to help farms monitor their pesticide use through collected data, saving money and lowering their environmental impact.
· Predicting yields
Although not always avoidable, having a poor yield can mean a lacklustre season all around, with lost revenue and – at worst – a lasting negative effect on the farm and its trade. Some ag-tech companies are using data from across a farm’s operations to predict yields months in advance. With this in your arsenal, there’ll be less time spent on uncertainty and more on the product.
· Managing your energy use
As our farms make increasing use of advanced technology, automated systems and more, our energy needs are set to spike. Not only can this reflect negatively on the environment, but on your bottom line too. Put your hard-earned profits towards more sustainable solutions with the Rakr NeatMeter. Tailored for dairy farmers, this smart device captures data to inform your energy output and improve efficiency, thereby decreasing costs long-term.
Ultimately the numerous benefits of embracing agricultural data seem to outweigh the disadvantages; as the industry becomes more adept, regulations will continue to change and laws will likely adapt to fill in any holes. In the meantime, just remember to do your due diligence when reaching out to ag-tech companies – transparency is key.
At Rakr, we are dedicated to ensuring the safety of your data. To find out more, please get in touch any time.