Precision ag unleashed.
The essentials of a sustainable precision
SST Software’s suite of products and services provides you with scalable management tools to make your business more responsive, effective, sustainable and secure in a complex, volatile market. Five core essentials guide SST’s product and service development and provides agX compatibility. Using a combination of SST’s products, you’ll find your operations more streamlined, increased efficiencies and the potential for a larger bottom line. SST’s essentials provide a strong foundation for this robust ecosystem so you can have a sustainable precision agricultural program.
With agX compatibility, SST’s products give you the ability to seamlessly use third-party valued-added services from other precision agricultural companies. This gives you the ability to offer additional services and maintain one record in one location.
At the heart of precision ag is spatial data. That is, every piece of data collected on your farm tagged with latitude and longitude. If a management decision is made or an operation applied that affects yield or revenue, then it needs to be geo-referenced. SST’s system does just that, enabling you to generate advanced site-specific information reports across your fields.
Although a precision ag system may allow for the input of various data types, it may not sufficiently allocate the data spatially. For example, take cost data. Forty-five bags of seed are planted across a 100-acre field. The planting rate averages 35,000 seeds per acre but varies from 28,000 to 38,000 from zone to zone. A true precision farming GIS should take the cost of each bag of corn and the seed count per bag, then allocate that cost site-specifically across the planting rate throughout the field. By properly associating location attributes to all data types, your precision program matures in not only site-specific agronomic analysis but also in site-specific economic analysis.
Decision question: Do the precision ag systems we evaluate or currently use record location data in a way that allows for a broad range of information reports?
The goal of precision ag is to make better crop management decisions. Better management decisions are based on information reports that result from combining multiple layers of raw field data together for spatial analysis. The process a GIS specialist works through when moving from raw map data to creating information reports can be tedious with the same button clicks and processes repeated for each data layer. This monotony limits the technician's productivity and forces organizations to hire more GIS specialists for data processing, resulting in more overhead and potential breakdowns in consistency.
SST automates a large portion of the data processing routine while maintaining customization. The GIS specialist sets up the specific requirements beforehand, and when the raw data becomes available, FarmRite processes the data and returns the predetermined information reports. This automation allows a GIS specialist to work with exponentially more data. As an organization adds specialists or field technicians, product look and delivery remain consistent while allowing for the modification of processing requirements according to the needs of the region.
Decision questions: How much of our time and resources are wasted on repetitive tasks that could be automated? Is the lack of automation and consistency adding unnecessary stress during the busy season? Is stress and breakdown in efficiency being sensed by our clients?
Farmers make an investment when collecting spatial data, and they rightly look forward to utilizing that data in future information reports. If the sole copy of your client's data resides on a GIS specialist's computer or the office server, you may be setting yourself up for trouble.
SST centralizes data within its secure cloud servers. This provides not only backup copies of data but also the easy exchange of data between parties who have a working relationship on a particular field. With the use of permission settings and administrator privileges, data exchange is done seamlessly without the need of importing or exporting files.
Decision questions: How vulnerable is our client's data? If centralization of data is not in place, how will we efficiently backup and share data between parties that have a working relationship on a particular field?
While we are proud of our technological contributions to agriculture, we recognize technology, in and of itself, will only take your operation so far. With almost half a million farms within SST's system, we've had the privilege of working with many outstanding growers, service providers and input suppliers. From this experience, we know behind every great farmer, you will find a team skilled in expertise.
Good technology fulfills the requirements of variable rate applications and analysis reports. Great technology brings established teams closer together so they can easily communicate, share data and make timely management decisions.
Decision question: Does our current system allow for collaboration between parties who have a working interest on a particular field?
Standardization refers to the naming consistency of operations applied to your field. Although it sounds boring, it is one of the most important facets of a precision ag program. For example, let's say Dekalb DKC 61-69 was planted across a farm. On some fields, the seed is recorded as Dekalb DKC 61-69. On other fields, variations of the name are used—DKC 6169, 61-69, or mishaps like Decalb DCK 61-69. At the end of the season when you generate analysis reports such as Yield by Variety by Soil Type or Yield by Variety by Tillage Method to see how Dekalb DKC 61-69 performed across various areas, the computer system will not recognize the different variations of the name as all belonging to Dekalb DKC 61-69. Thus, the lack of standardized input data severely hampers your ability to generate valuable site-specific information reports.
SST embarked on the development of a standardized database more than a decade ago. It is now referred to as agX Content. The database has grown to more than 160,000 entries, covering multiple crops, operations, applications, products, scouting entries and compliance documents. SST is agX Compatible. Within SST's applications, picklists from agX Content are used instead of manual data entry to ensure data entry standardization across your operation. With a team of SST staff members focused solely on the integrity and expansion of agX Content, your current and future ability to offer information reports will not be hampered due to lack of data standardization.
Decision questions: Does our current precision ag system have a standardized database for recording farm operations? If not, how is this detrimental to our current and future precision ag offerings?