Posted by the OMAFRA Field Crops team on fieldcropnews.com
Precision Agriculture Advancement for Ontario: This article is part of a series dedicated to helping farmers understand and implement precision agriculture technology. It is based on research conducted by Nicole Rabe, Ian McDonald, and Ben Rosser at OMAFRA, in conjunction with Mike Duncan, Sarah Lepp, and Gregor MacLean at Niagara College.
“I’VE BEEN COLLECTING all of this yield data from my combine… now what do I do with it?”
It’s a question Dr. Mike Duncan hears often. But it’s one that he and his research team at Niagara College are working to answer, by giving growers a place to upload, store, and — most importantly — put their data to practical use.
Duncan, an NSERC industrial research chair, along with Sarah Lepp, senior research associate, and their team have been working with researchers from the Precision Agriculture Advancement for Ontario (PAAO) project to create and develop the Crop Portal.
For growers collecting memory cards and hard drives full of raw data each season, the Crop Portal works as an online repository that lets them upload that data and then get it processed and transformed into useable maps that help identify the high, medium, and low-yielding areas of their fields.
Duncan and Lepp hope the Crop Portal will help growers get past the idea that processing and mapping out yield data not only demands specialized training, but also a big investment in time and software.
“A lot of guys don’t want to have to be IT specialists; and if they can’t run a piece of software off their iPad, they’re probably not going to use it,” Duncan says. “You’re also looking at spending several thousand dollars on software, and if you’re running low acreages, it’s a high cost per acre for processing data.”
Duncan and Lepp want the Crop Portal to be seen as a quick, simple, and straightforward online tool that growers — working with crop advisors — can use to manage their data.
For more on the story, go to fieldcropnews.com.