Big Data and Privacy at Morning Farm Report

Over the next few weeks, we will be making a series of new products announcements all leading up to the launch of Morning Farm Report in early 2015. Before that begins, we wanted to share our views on data privacy.

We here at Morning Farm Report and Agrible, Inc. (the parent company of Ag Informatics) are always thinking about Big Agricultural Data and helping growers and agricultural businesses in everything they do. We know that feeding the world is going to be a tough challenge, and we want to help you the way we know how – with clear, concise, unbiased agronomic science and predictive analytics. We also know that agriculture is an incredibly competitive business and that your personal knowledge of your fields is critical to your business. As such, we feel that we need to discuss our data and privacy policies with you, while giving our take on the whole thing too.

1) The amount of data you share is up to you.

We do everything we can with the least amount of data possible. Over the years, we have developed many ways to work with minimal data, but also to achieve great results from our science. Our research over the past 20 years has always championed the needs of growers, culminating in the latest cutting edge agronomic tools. We ask only for the data that will help give the best value from our products. If you do decide to add additional data to the Morning Farm Report system, we can help you more and more. Adding in planting dates and harvest dates allows us to do wonders with statistics. Adding in your yields allows the system to be tailored to your production. This allows us to help you make quick, knowledgable market decisions with data that is adjusted to your operation.

2) We are scientists and engineers, not “fill-in-the-blank”

We are those guys people make fun of in movies. We get up early in the morning to stare at computer screens and build fun, amazing things. We stay up late staring at computer screens to build analyses for Morning Farm Report because we couldn’t go to sleep, minds buzzing with what we want to get done. We pull soil cores in our spare time and analyze samples just because! They made pocket protectors for us and we use ‘em. This is who we are. We have no ulterior motives. We are not trying to sell you seeds. We are not trying to sell you equipment. We are not trying to buy your grain or hedge the markets. We are not selling fertilizer or chemicals.

We are trying to sell you the best agricultural science and big data tools to help you. We dowant to make a living and pay the bills, so we are charging for our products. We make big data and your own data work harder for you than anyone else. A number of us farm and work directly in agriculture. We have the same problems you do: What seed should I buy? How much will this rain really help? Should I sidedress Nitrogen? We make sure our tools help you as much as they help us!

3) Transparency in Agriculture is Important

Science has a history of being transparent. Our background is in peer-review and collaboration. We use a minimum amount of your data to help our system help you. We do not use your data for anything else. Our data policy is transparent. We do not share your data with anyone unless you want us to share it. You work with agricultural advisors, dealers, and others every year. We built Morning Farm Report to facilitate these kinds of relationships – after all, agriculture is one of the few businesses that is still truly a personal business, and we want the best for everyone. We allow you to extend access to your account to your advisors, and we allow you to rescind that invitation whenever you want to. We also work hard to make sure other systems that you might use work well with Morning Farm Report and vice-versa. With active accounts, we also allow you to export and use the data. That’s our data that you paid to access and you now have it.

4) Who Owns Data

Growers own their own data. Users of Morning Farm Report who enter in data own that data and have permission to use that data. We are stewards of that data and protect them with some of the finest encryptions and security protocols available. From an NPR article about the latest statement from the Farm Bureau: “The signers agreed that farmers own the data from their own farms, and have the right to control who gets access to that data.” We agree with this statement and with the Bureau’s document linked here. We are actively pursuing being able to put our name onto this document.

If you have any questions about this or about anything else, we can meet you at the coffee shop in town or you can drop us an email at info@ag-informatics.com.