Farmers can be Data Scientists too
Here at Rakr, we love our farmers; that’s why we’re always reaching out to producers across Canada, speaking to the real, hard-working people who make our country’s agriculture sector one of the best in the world.
After visiting so many farms, we’ve seen just how resourceful farmers really are. More of us are embracing agritech innovations and leaning into automation to stay competitive, while others are striving to educate the younger generations and bring new ideas into farming, agribusiness and agri-food exporting. However, not all of the information that farmers crave is currently available, as many agritech companies keep our data on lockdown.
That’s why we need to show these companies how sharing data and resources with farmers can provide great benefit to the sector; by working in tandem with one another, Canadian agriculture can continue to flourish in this digital age.
The Power of Information
To demonstrate how farmers can take great strides with the right information, we’d like to highlight a recent story of a dairy farm with a malfunctioning tractor. When this integral piece of equipment broke down – with corn still to be planted and a closing timeframe – the farmer took action. Many tractors cannot be fixed on their own due to proprietary software stored on them, leaving servicing down to the manufacturer. Unfortunately, the farmer didn’t have time to bring in one of these select contractors – so to avoid losing produce, they utilised YouTube tutorials to hack their own tractor and diagnose the issue.
Not only was this moment incredibly powerful, but it just goes to show that farmers are hungry for information and want the ability to innovate their processes wherever they can.
One of the major challenges we’re facing right now is that many agritech companies either do not realize this or are actively opposing farmers having access to their resources. For example, Farmer’s Edge does not provide users access to their own data; it can only be seen on their platform and, if you choose to opt out, the data vanishes forever. In other words, there’s no time where your data actually belongs to you.
As an agritech company ourselves, we believe in freedom of information and the importance of data in helping you to manage and improve your operations. That’s why we allow you to download your own data from our NeatMeter any time and in many different formats.
Some Handy Skills to Look Out For
When your data is back in your hands, knowing how to make the most of it is key. To help you get started, here are some of the top data science skills that are worth learning for farmers:
· R Programming can equip farmers with more analytical tools
· Python coding is an important coding language due to its ability to utilize core data science processes
We hope to offer an online course in the future to bundle up these important skills and help you take home new ideas for agricultural growth and development. For more information, keep an eye on this space or follow us on Twitter for updates.
At the end of the day – whether you’re in big agri-food, a family-owned farm or a student looking to make their mark in the sector – anyone can use their data to achieve great things for their production. This is our goal as well; Rakr’s NeatMeter marries function with transparency, helping you manage your energy use while giving you access to your information whenever you need it.
If you have any questions about the NeatMeter or accessing your data, please feel free to get in touch any time.