In addition to the “Frank Comments” column that appears here and in the February 2016 issue of Conservation Tillage Guide, a number of the no-tillers who responded to the recent No-Till Farmer survey took the time to add personal comments that are summarized here.

“Stay Out Of My Fields”

Most surveyed growers believe their on-farm data belongs to them and should not be used by suppliers without permission and even reimbursement. When suppliers sell or share data with other firms, these no-tillers expect to be paid for this information.

Others believe firms such as Deere have no business obtaining farmer data without permission. Some feel allowing the big players in the ag market to have this data will lead to higher equipment and crop input prices for growers. And higher dividends being paid to stockholders as well.

Many of the responding no-tillers indicate that they are hesitant to share confidential information with any company. Several indicated that they would only share data after receiving a signed wavier from a company that explains how the data will be used.

Other growers are concerned with several legal agreements that appear to be part of the Deere purchase, Since the Precision Planting products were part of the offerings available over the past several years from the Climate Corporation, growers will now be able to utilize the services offered by the MyJohnDeere and ClimateFieldView programs. But at the same time, growers are concerned that the unauthorized use of their on-farm data will be available not only to Deere, but now also to the Climate Corporation.

While admitting the on-farm data is owned by farmers, officials from the Climate Corporation say growers who provide data and work with them will be told how the data will be used. And they point out that farmers can delete their on-farm data from the system whenever they want. Still, the unauthorized use of this on-farm data is a major worry for some growers.

Taking a Look Back at What Happened in 2012

If you want to review the history on the unauthorized data-sharing situation, here is the article that appeared in the August 2012 edition of No-Till Farmer entitled, “Monsanto’s Acquisition of Precision Planting Makes Growers Nervous About Sharing Data.”

Other no-tillers voiced concerns over the fact that they have shared data over the past few years with area agronomists who also happen to be Precision Planting dealers. They’re now worried about their on-farm cropping data getting in the hands of Deere.

While some growers are obtaining valuable data through the use of Precision Planting products, they don’t think they should not have to pay to have the data analyzed and then find later the firm is asking to be paid for offering a new crop production recipe based on the data they provided without charge to the supplier in the first place.

With the Deere purchase of Precision Planting, some no-tillers say they will work more closely with independent manufacturers of precision equipment to avoid concerns about the unauthorized sharing of farm data with the major brands.

“Data Sharing Benefits Everyone”

On the other hand, a few no-tillers who answered the 2015 survey aren’t concerned about giving up their on-farm data. They believe suppliers will only use this data for determining yield and input trends rather than analyzing individual farm data. While some growers felt their data would be more secure with Deere than with Monsanto, others held the opposite opinion.

Other no-tillers believe that an increased flow of information will benefit all growers. They maintain that farmers simply need to understand what is changing for the better and get on board with the changes.

Are You Currently Sharing Your Farm Data with a Third Party Company?
Yes 28%
No 67%
Not Sure 5%
— 2015 No-Till Farmer survey