Chrissy was raised on a farm and continues to farm with her fiance near Cypress River, MB. She spent several years in ag retail before becoming the chief agronomist for Under the Hill Farms (UTHF), also based in Cypress River, MB. She joined UTHF approximately a year ago and since then has been working with their employee team to collect and analyze information from all aspects of production, from seeding through harvest.
UTHF operates John Deere equipment, and Chrissy has been learning how to best use the John Deere Operation Center to collect data and guide decision making. Her first job was to ensure that the whole team was working from the same starting point, which meant mapping approximately 75 fields, including some with irrigation pivots.
Once this information was gathered and consolidated, it had a number of uses. Here is a quick summary of how this information is used and an example of why it mattered:
Whole farm field maps were placed in each piece of equipment, and shared with frequent ag retailers and aerial applicators
This saved time by allowing efficient delivery of product to the field and consistent field identification for casual employees
Field maps, including names, were pre-loaded into equipment monitors to aid in consistency and operator ease-of-use.
Multiple passes on the same field can be easily integrated in Operation Center
The JD Operation Center employee training session provided operators with generic technical information alongside farm specific information and input expectations
Operators understood how to input information into their monitor, but also knew that this information was being used on a daily basis
AT UTHF the Operation Center allows the farm decision makers to see season-long information about each field. This is especially important for operations such as UTHF, where multiple decision makers keep track of significantly different types of crops (cereals, pulses, potatoes). It is important to have accurate and accessible, real-time records to satisfy external stakeholders and for internal communications. For instance, in the potato crop the soil testing, aerial spraying and irrigation coordination are all done by different people. Collecting information in one repository just makes sense.
Birds eye view of digging potatoes at OTHF
Keep reading tomorrow to learn more about harnessing data in agriculture.