A KANIVA farmer believes the concept of increased data sharing among farmers might enable breakthroughs in research or allow farmers to better analyse their own data sets.
Speaking at the Innovation Generation conference in Adelaide earlier this month, Kaniva farmer Jonathan Dyer said ideas such as the Farmers Business Network, a farmer-driven data collection and analytics service in the US, could have merit in Australia.
The Farmers Business Network model works on a put-in, take-out model, for instance if you contribute data on rainfall you can access the meteorological data or if you put in yield data by variety you can look up the variety results.
“It seems to be a good means of getting objective, unbiased data,” Mr Dyer said.
Australian Farm Institute’s Richard Heath also spoke at Innovation Generation.
He said there was better value in cumulative data than simple farm by farm records.
“A data co-operative model can work,” he said.
He said an analytics team at a co-op was critical to unlocking the value of the data.
“Data has to be given to those who can interpret it and turn it into knowledge,” he said.
“The raw data alone is not enough.”
Mr Healthj said allowing researchers to access large data sets could help various sectors of Australia’s grains industry, such as grain breeders or machinery manufacturers.