Virtually every precision ag survey done with growers and industry over the last 20 years would rank "getting different systems to work together" as the greatest frustration and obstacle to growing the overall market.
It has seemed like each piece of software, each monitor and each system had their own unique file format. Sometimes "precision ag experts" could be defined simply as people that could make all of the technology talk to each other and actually work in the cab. Their value to growers wasn't measured on whether the prescription made sense agronomically or economically – but just that they could make it work.
I want to take a break from this column's normal message, using your data to make better agronomic decisions, to highlight a major industry effort to solve this daunting problem. The industry effort is called ADAPT and the ADAPT project is organized as part of AgGateway, an industry standards organization. For the past two years, two teams from participating industry companies have been meeting online every week. One team focused on technical issues and one team focused on business issues. ADAPT's purpose: eliminate the major pain points to the broad use of precision agriculture data by easily enabling interoperability between different software and hardware applications.
Now, I'm not quite geek enough to understand some of terms and descriptions these folks use so I'll try to explain their work as simply as possible.
The ADAPT solution allows each equipment manufacturer to keep their own proprietary software and technology in cab and monitor (Mobile Implement Control System) but all participating companies will "export to" and "import from" a common open-source ADAPT file format! Farm Management Information Software (FMIS), the industry's term for companies like Premier Crop, will be able to program "one-time" and be able to receive data from all companies using the ADAPT format, including other FMIS companies. And program "one-time" to be able to export a prescription to any monitor that is using ADAPT.
This isn't something that will happen – it's something that IS happening right now! The ADAPT Team's hard work has now paid off. Virtually all the major equipment companies and software companies have committed to using ADAPT. A formal press release will be issued soon.
You can lend your support to drive the effort even faster. Since companies respond to what growers (customers) want and need, you can add your support by logging on to www.adaptframework.org and follow the link to "CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE DATA MANAGEMENT SURVEY". Let them know how important this effort is to you and your operation.
If you've been looking for the "Easy" button – it's on the way!!!