Hoosier Ag Today by: Gary Truitt
New tools for making decisions based on farm data were the big story at the Commodity Classic trade show which concluded over the weekend in New Orleans. Hoosier Ag Today found one Indiana farmer who has discovered this new technology has revolutionized his farming operation. Ben Moore operates Stateline farms, a 7,000-acre grain and soybean operation on the Indiana/Ohio border. He has been collecting data about his operation for over 2 decades, “We started with a yield monitor on the combine in 1995, and we have increased every year since them. We move moved to the auto steer and variable rate seeding. We have found big benefits from using this data.”
This year he made the move to Maglis, a new system from BASF. It’s a program that analyzes all aspects of his operation and helps him make a variety of crop decisions, “We spend as much time on the data analysis as we do on anything else. With a tool like Maglis, once we have a plan in place or a decision made, it helps us communicate that information to everyone in our operation as well as all the other people we work with.” The system lets him share data on what products to apply, when to apply them, and at what rate to his employees as well as his seed dealer, fertilizer dealer, and others.
Moore says Maglis not only helps them put together a comprehensive plan that involves all aspects of the operation, but it also lets them make adjustments and react faster to the unexpected surprises that a growing season can bring, “That is what is really nice about this system is that we can update the plan and then get that information to everyone who needs it quickly and accurately.” Moore said the key is to have boots on the ground, scouting fields and updating the information in the system. This allows Maglis to give him a real time picture of what is happening on his operation.
He told HAT the learning curve on the Maglis system was not hard, and he is hoping that as the system evolves it will become even easier to use. He is looking forward to the next phase of the system which will collect data wirelessly from the equipment so that manual input will not be needed.
BASF was just one of several companies who were demonstrating data analysis products at Commodity Classic. It is clear that the era of big data is evolving from just collecting information to sophisticated, cloud-based, real-time analysis of what is happening in a field or on a whole farm. “Farming is a dynamic business that requires the management of a wide range of data,” said Paul Rea, Senior Vice President, Crop Protection, North America, BASF. “Through Maglis, BASF will work with farmers to further personalize their experience, and enable them to develop a complete plan tailored for each growing season and ultimately achieve their operational goals.”
Through Maglis Customer Navigator, BASF Innovation Specialists can guide crop-related discussions with farmers, providing a platform to offer better agronomic advice. During these discussions, farmers gain more insight critical to both big-picture and field-specific farm decisions. “Every day I strive to better connect with farmers to understand the issues that matter most to them,” said Neil Doherty, the BASF Innovation Specialist who works with Stateline Farms. “With Maglis Customer Navigator, I can have stronger, more impactful conversations with farmers, and together we can form a specific crop recommendation to help that farmer achieve maximum success.”
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