Should Farmers Share Their Data?
Should farmers share their data? There are trade offs to consider when making that decision, but there are certainly certain advantages with sharing data under the right conditions. Kansas State University ag economist Dr. Terry Griffin, says those that don’t embrace the digital agricultural revolution could get left behind, like those that didn’t embrace mechanized agriculture.
Griffin… “Farmers were reliant upon animal power to do a lot of the work, and they were raising grain feed it to the livestock. One day, they had the option of getting a tractor. But what does that mean? Well, you can maybe farm more acres, but you also lose some independence, right? So you have to become dependent upon a fuel supplier. But fast forward a few years, what happened to the animal power farmers? They just eventually went away. Right? So it may have been a short term solution not to adopt mechanize agriculture, but it was not a long-term sustainable decision….
...It's giving up some independence by sharing farm data with other parties. But, you know, it's just a matter of time before those who try to remain independent may do so in the short term, but it may not be a long-term sustainable decision.”
Dr. Griffin emphasizes that farmers should only share data if they know what they are giving up and what they are getting from the arrangement.