Last month the Farmers Business Network (FBN) hosted the first ever Farmer2Farmer Conference. More than 650 industry professionals attended to hear how experts in professional sports and the military have challenged their fields with an outside-the-box focus on performance metrics– the “Moneyball” philosophy. This innovative group of farmers, data analysts, and industry representatives hope to do the same with agriculture.
“One of our goals is to help farmers leverage information so that they are in a significant position of power,” says Amol Deshpande, Farmers Business Network CEO and Co-Founder. “The concept of Moneyball farming encourages farmers to look at every ounce of performance to make tough decisions based on key metrics, and leverage that information to their advantage. Crowdsourcing agronomic data provides growers with price-to-performance transparency giving farmers another tool to identify the true “price-to-performance” of agricultural inputs and practices in their unique conditions—that’s ‘Moneyball‘ thinking.”
Farmers heard from experts who put the Moneyball philosophy to work outside of agriculture. Paul DePodesta, New York Mets general manager, and Bill James, preeminent statistician and research professional, provided their insights into making critical decisions that go against commonly accepted wisdoms and conventional practices. Lieutenant General Jim Huggins gave farmers insights into how the military uses data to make decisions that impact battle plans.
Farmers also heard from other farmers who gave real-world insights into how they made more effective decisions using data analysis. FBN experts also showed how FBN products and services can be used to manage inputs and make good management and business decisions.
FBN also announced major product updates to help farmers in their network read the data, such as a seed nitrogen efficiency analytics for the FBN Seed Finder, mapping overlays, and mobile alert apps for infield scouting among others.
“Data, and the use of data, should be simple,” says Charles Baron, FBN Vice President of Product and Co-Founder. “Farmers should always have access to the best information and tools to make the absolute best decisions for their own operations.”