WinField has increased its participation in two separate efforts to help simplify the exchange of information between software platforms while ensuring that farmers retain ownership and control of their data.

WinField and the Open Ag Data Alliance (OADA) are helping farmers put their data to work through the use of communication protocols enabling secure data transfer and common logins between cloud systems across the agricultural industry that prevent needing to enter similar or identical information multiple times.  Additionally, WinField and AgGateway are working to promote standardization of data formats and conversions for better compatibility between systems.

“Our engagements with OADA and within AgGateway will enable WinField retailers to better help farmers leverage the benefits of their valuable data, while ensuring data privacy and individual ownership,” said Dave Gebhardt, Ph.D., director of agronomic data and technology, WinField. “WinField  is also developing its own proprietary data management solution to perform in this environment.”

“WinField continues to provide significant leadership and positive contributions to collaborative eBusiness efforts within AgGateway,” said Rod Conner, president and chief executive officer, AgGateway. “This has included leading key efforts within our precision agriculture projects, and in other major areas that will boost business efficiency.”

Another important capability being explored by OADA is the best way to have multiple clouds communicate with each other without compromising farmers’ data privacy or ownership.  “The central guiding principle of OADA is that farmers own the data they generate on their farm.  To that end, we’re building open source frameworks and protocols that will enable the industry to create apps and services that work seamlessly with any system on their farm in ways that let the farmer decide where, when, and with whom to share their data with just the push of a button,” said Aaron Ault, OADA project lead, OADA.

Gebhardt likens the collaborations between WinField and OADA, and WinField and AgGateway, to ones common in high-tech locales such as the Silicon Valley, where ideas are created and tested between parties, and ultimately developed and leveraged for the benefit of a wide user audience.  

“All signs point to big data and data science being here to stay,” said Gebhardt. “What we as an industry still need to figure out is how to best work together so it’s clear that farmers own their data, and can confidently and safely manage its use.”