It’s said that knowledge is power, and now information could be a powerful cash crop for farmers. Attendees of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 96th Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show heard from Jason Tatge, current president, CEO and co-founder of FarMobile, who sees huge potential for farmers to dictate the sale of their data to large agricultural companies.
According to Tatge, farmers currently lack the necessary protection of their data. “Without a safeguard, data could manipulate margins,” he explained. “Our goal is to get the revenue stream back to the growers.”
He expects his company, FarMobile, to be the first of many to step in and mediate this process. FarMobile provides farmers with a device that can be plugged into a tractor to gather data on land and machinery including fuel economy, speed, direction and products being applied. The information is then directed to an electronic file that can be accessed at the farmer’s discretion.
Once this data is in the system, FarMobile facilitates opportunities between farmers and agricultural companies by allowing large companies to make offers to purchase the farmer’s data, should they desire to make a profit rather than utilize it for personal use. According to Tatge, this is the main way farmers can start to turn a profit on their data.
Tatge says the current state of “farmer data rights are the Wild West,” and he wants to put control back into the hands of farmers.