On-farm data importance grows for ag lending

The head of rural at Rabo AgriFinance says on-farm data collection and use will become more important for agriculture in the next decade.

Chris Olson says lenders are already using on-farm data to manage investment risks and the quality of that data is important.

“We’re seeing more and more movement to third party financial data gathering versus traditional farmer prepared balance sheets or income statements,” he says. “As information quality improves, you’ll see a level of risk change. That will lead to lower costs of interest.”

He says U.S. farmers not only need to capture on-farm data, but consider how to use that information to build balance sheets and understand per-bushel costs.

“Knowing that allows farmers to make marketing opportunities right now.”

Olson says carbon sustainability is another form of data collection that isn’t going away and will continue to bring income to farmers. He also says farmers should also start building a baseline of farm data to use when food traceability becomes a greater priority.

He was part of a panel discussion at the Federal Reserve’s Ag Symposium on Wednesday.

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