Farmer outlines data challenges in agriculture sector

A farmer says data interoperability is a barrier to agricultural productivity.

Larkin Martin grows corn, soybeans, wheat, and cotton in Alabama.

“Much of the data generated by machines and the sensors is in proprietary formats and requires licensing for access. I’ve been asking about this and frustrated by this for a number of years and I’m no data scientist, but I’m told that there is little open-source software development in agriculture and very few open APIs (Application Programming Interfaces),” she says. “Data does not move easily.”

Martin says her family farm uses a cloud-based accounting system, field record keeping system, harvest record keeping system for grains, and a field boundary soil sample and variable rate fertilization prescription writing system.

“None of those systems talk to each other, all of those systems need the same information put in, and that’s an awful lot of time in our office typing the same information in to multiple places,” she says.

She says information from data can help make her farm more efficient, but broadband and interoperability poses some challenges .

Martin spoke during the 2021 Agricultural Symposium by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

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