The Problem with Information

As farmers, information is becoming very important to us. However, the ability to move information from one place to another is never easy. Thus, every platform we use requires us to add the information all over again. It’s something I point out to companies a lot, “that’s a great idea, but asking the farmer to enter that information all over again manually won’t be popular”.

The big question is why can’t information transfer be standardised?

The simple answer is of course, it can. At the moment we don’t have an ISOBUS standard for information – but it would be really useful and I do think it will happen. Afterall, it is your information, so you should be able to export it from any system and import it into another. We are just as guilty of this as every other company, it is something we have recognised and are trying to fix.

Our latest development project is called Farm Compare. It will allow farmers to share anonymised and rounded prices for crop protection products for free. It’s a great example of how to share information to gain business intelligence. Answers are immediate and the more farmers that use it, the more powerful it will be. You will be able to compare one buying group against another and even in the future compare whether serviced or supply would be best for your business.

However, you will do all this using your anonymous The Farming Forum username. No need to create another account to access another service. We are also talking to the crop management software companies to allow you to export the prices out of their systems and into Farm Compare. We have also recognised that it isn’t easy to manage your Direct Driller subscription. The plan over the next few months to incorporate your subscription preferences in with your TFF membership.

So that you can update your own address and whether you would like to receive the magazine in print or digitally. At this point, one username and password will give access to Direct Driller subscription, The Farming Forum and Farm Compare. A very small step forward in trying to make all your lives a little easier.