AgGateway’s Precision Ag Council has launched a new project that will improve the data exchange processes that drive the use of precision agriculture field equipment for such major operations as seeding, tillage, spraying, fertilizing and harvesting. The Standardized Precision Ag Data Exchange (SPADE) project is intended to streamline and encourage adoption of precision ag practices.

“The ultimate objective of the project is to make the benefits of precision ag available to all growers and ag retailers,” said SPADE Project Chairman Joe Tevis, Director of Agronomic Products and Services at Topcon Precision Agriculture. “This will be done by reducing the complexity of the process and lowering the cost of entry.”

Currently, costs for exchanging data in the world of precision agriculture are high due to the lack of common implementation guidelines, data transfer protocols, message standards and standard reference data. Producers report that it is difficult or nearly impossible to move data from one system to another.

“Crop producers who have adopted precision farming practices often say that the hardware systems and software applications they use could be a lot easier to set-up and operate,” says Jeff Keiser, Chair of the Precision Ag Council, and Manager of Technology Integration at John Deere Insurance Company. “They also want it to be easier to share data with their trusted advisors or suppliers, who often use different system components.

“This project will help system developers reduce their costs and make it easier for producers to consistently collect field data across their farming operations, while reducing barriers to data exchange between producers and their suppliers,” Keiser said.

The project has attracted a great deal of interest, with 31 companies and organizations to date committing to participate and collaborate, including Ag Connections, AGCO Corporation, AgGateway, AgIntegrated Inc., Ag Leader Technology, Agrian Inc., AgWorks Software, CDMS, Ceres Solutions, CNH Americas, Crop IMS LLC, GEOSYS Inc., GROWMARK Inc., Heartland Cooperative, Hemisphere GPS, John Deere, Mapshots, Monsanto Company, OAGi, Premier Crop Systems LLC, ProAg, Raven Industries, River Valley Cooperative, Southern States Cooperative, SST Software, Syngenta, TopCon Positioning Systems, Trimble, Wilbur-Ellis, Winfield Solutions and ZedX Inc.