From Farm Data To Doing


Legend has it that 'The Great Zumbrati' once completed a dangerous tightrope walk over Niagara Falls in the middle of a storm. When he reached the other side, he was met by an enthusiastic fan who urged him to make a return trip, this time pushing a wheelbarrow, which the fan had thoughtfully brought along.

The famed tightrope walker was reluctant, but his fan kept insisting. "You can do it - I know you can," he urged.

"You really believe I can do it?" asked Zumbrati.

"Yes - definitely - you can do it." the supporter gushed.

"Okay," said Zumbrati, "Get in the wheelbarrow..."

The conversation around agricultural data has become distorted. As agtech has become increasingly mainstream, many companies delivering technology to the farmgate have assumed that data in and of itself is a net positive. 

"How can we know more? How many data points can we extract?"

While we believe in the importance of data in this industry, the reality is that just like the fan who claims to believe in the stuntman without putting themself on the line, farm intelligence is only as valuable as the system you use to turn it into action. More data is not always the answer. Sometimes what you actually need is a system that helps you make sense of the information sitting right under your nose. 

Puzzles, Mysteries, and Making Sense of Chaos

The national security expert, Gregory Treverton, has famously distinguished between puzzles and mysteries. Treverton suggests that puzzles have simple, factual answers and are solved by getting more information. Mysteries, on the other hand, are full of contingency and are solved by improving our data analysis rather than simply gathering more of it.

Historically, agriculture has operated in a puzzle paradigm - we've been chasing that next piece of information. This is why you hear so much talk about companies "unlocking" or "uncovering" new pieces of information in agriculture. The assumption is that knowing more is always best. And in many ways, this has served us well. We have discovered many inefficiencies and streamlined processes. However, the reality is that there is a point at which having more data stops helping us to make more informed management decisions and starts to become more of a challenge for us to manage. 

On the other side of things, all of the agronomic data we now have available to us thanks to tools such as satellites, sensors, and other emerging technologies, has created a new type of environment where the competitive advantage goes to the company that can take the enormous glut of data available on a farm and properly synthesizes it into meaningful action. 

We're chasing the balance between overly burdensome datasets and implementing rapid decision-making systems in agriculture, the balance between puzzles and mysteries. 

Building a New Framework for Agricultural Data

Warren Buffet's business partner, Charlie Munger calls frameworks “latticeworks on which to hang your ideas," and we believe that is what the agricultural data conversation is missing today.  

In other words, we don't just need more data; we need a new type of operating system that can be delivered to our customers to help them analyze and take action on that data so that they can achieve the best results possible. 

This is the future of agricultural technology - charting a clearer path from data to doing. The farmers and companies that get this right will not only be able to access unparalleled insights, but they will also be able to create a more efficient and effective industry and supply chain. 

The future of agriculture is not just gathering data; it’s about understanding it - and using that understanding to make better decisions faster. That’s why we focus on creating systems that make it easy for farmers, advisers, and operators to make sense of the data they are collecting and understand how it can help them reach their goals faster. 

The Benefits of an Agronomic Tech Stack

We are committed to demonstrating how technology can be used to make farming and agriculture more lucrative, confident, and proactive.

Technology can be a game-changer for the agricultural industry, allowing farmers to increase their yields and profits while using resources more effectively. But to really impact farm operations, this technology must deliver data in a consumable way with a framework that enables improved operational outcomes on the farm. 

That's why we didn't stop at just building the Soiltech Beacon sensor but integrated this newly available data into our highly intelligent and easy-to-use Signal platform where growers and advisors can translate our field intelligence into understanding across their operation. 

Learn more about how the Signal platform's Acre Playbook and Advanced Analytics modules can help you turn your farm data into doing today. 

The Soiltech Solution

We are building to be a critical element in the technology stack of any farmer, advisor, or partner who wants to grow or advise more precisely. That is why we have designed the Soiltech solution to be the first fully integrated seed-to-shelf analysis tool. It all begins with the sensor delivering data through the entire crop and product supply chain - from the soil, where it's planted as a seed, to the storage facility, where it is transformed into food, fuel, or fiber. 

This provides farmers and their downstream partners to be proactive about the decisions they're making throughout this process to deliver better quality goods, enhance product value, and solidify the partnership between the farmgate and their customers.

The Soiltech ecosystem actively monitors real-time success factors, including soil moisture, temperature, humidity, damage, and location. These measurements provide growers, advisors, researchers, and downstream supply chain partners with critical insights, enabling optimal decisions and outcomes.  

Learn more about our solution today.