By: Billy Tiller CEO GISC
I am a farmer and I understand the need for independence and the desire to let the world know that we are full of grit and perseverance. We can stand against the onslaught of hail, drought, disease, and insects. Every year brings a new set of problems and we must solve a riddle daily, what is the best use of the next 15 hours of daylight if we are to bring a harvest from the seeds we planted. Howard Buffet, in his book about food scarcity and world hunger, 40 Chances, made me contemplate the number of times I get to test my farming ability. I realized that I plant a crop, react to all the events of year and try to learn for my next crop. The next year I make some changes that I think would be beneficial and I repeat the reactionary steps to all the external events that shape my year. I repeat the process over and over for maybe 40 seasons if I am lucky. If I do these things forty times and I adjust with only what I have learned, the results will be less than stellar because the data set is limited.
This is the problem with my farm today: “I don’t know what I don’t know”. I have a limited experience in what I can trial in a given year on my farm. I have a limited amount of time to read, attend meetings, engage with other growers, and interact with the input providers. I may seek the advice of a crop consultant and at least get the possible knowledge he has garnered from additional farms. However, if I could include the learnings from other farms and their data on a large scale over thousands of farms and millions of acres, then I would have the insight to make better choices as to tillage methods, crop selection, variety selection, fertilizer usage, and the list is endless. The problem today is “I don’t know what I don’t know”.
The purpose of GiSC is to help our members understand what the bigger data says to our production methods and input choices while protecting the privacy of each grower. This data aggregation must happen if farmers are going to be relevant in a data driven world. We have to get progressive and proactive, because the continual reaction of farmers leads to sub-optimum results. Storing our data is not valuable if there is not a method to gain insights from the data. The opportunity is at our feet as farmers. We hold the most granular and accurate data in the industry and we are hiding it from ourselves. We must come to a place to “know what we don’t know” by using our data as a key to incredible business insights that will unlock increased profitability on every farm.
Join the effort to unlock data for the farmer advantage. We need to be willing to come together and work collaboratively to gain insights from each other. There are many in this industry that are promising to help us yet have additional motives that involve substantial profits for themselves. We must remain steadfast in our independence. GiSC is the right means to enable us to create a grower centric, data network that gives us the necessary insights to be successful. We have partnerships in place with Main Street Data and IBM to provide the technology tools to empower growers and help gain insights into on-farm data.The only thing missing is you, the grower. As a member, you have a chance to be a part of a collaborative network that keeps yourself and other farmers in the center of independent ag data. Join Today and be part of the solution that will benefit you, the grower, MOST.