Mar 4, 2016
Ohio State University joins data coalition for farmers

The Ohio State University has joined a coalition that will put important farm data into the hands of farmers while keeping it secure, the university said.

Scott Shearer, left, works with Andrew Klopfenstein, a project coordinator in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Photo: Ohio State University
Scott Shearer, left, works with Andrew Klopfenstein, a project coordinator in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Photo: Ohio State University

The Agricultural Data Coalition (ADC) is dedicated to helping farmers better control, manage and maximize the value of the data they collect every day in the fields, the university said. It is the result of years of planning and coordination by AGCO, the American Farm Bureau Federation, Auburn University, CNH Industrial, Crop IMS, Mississippi State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Raven Industries, Topcon Positioning Group and Ohio State.

ADC’s goal is to build a national online repository where farmers can securely store and control the information collected by their tractors, harvesters, aerial drones and other devices, according to the university. Over time, that data can then be scrubbed, synced and transmitted in an efficient and uniform way to third parties — whether they are researchers, crop insurance agents, government officials, farm managers, input providers or any trusted adviser the farmer chooses.

“We are excited to be a member of the Agricultural Data Coalition,” said Scott Shearer, professor and department chair for the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering in Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. He is also a member of the Translational Data Analytics work at Ohio State.

Ohio State created Translational Data Analytics (TDA) at Ohio State in 2014 to integrate the university’s data analytics expertise and – among other goals – to create multidisciplinary solutions in precision agriculture. Funding for TDA was made possible by the university’s Discovery Themes initiative.

Being a member of the ADC and having access to data sets will accelerate the development of new and innovative crop, pest, hydrologic and business models for agriculture, said John Fulton, precision agriculture specialist for Ohio State University Extension, the outreach arm of the college. Fulton and Shearer have been working together on this project since Fulton started at Ohio State in 2014.

“The key is that farmers are in complete control, and they decide who is allowed access to their data,” explains ADC Interim Executive Director Matt Bechdol. “That’s what sets ADC apart.

“This is not about profit for others, it’s about streamlining data management, establishing clear lines of control, and helping growers utilize their data in ways that ultimately benefit them.”

Farmers interested in learning more about data collection, and organizations interested in joining ADC’s efforts, may visit www.AgDataCoaltion.org.





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