As farmers face continuing economic challenges, a FarmLink analysis of its proprietary benchmark data found that for the second year in a row approximately one third of farm operations could have earned additional revenue in 2015, totaling $8.1 billion across the United States. New data tools, such as Discovery by FarmLink, can help farmers identify opportunities in the 2016 season to apply advanced farming practices and maximize investments in seed and other inputs.
While revenue amounts varied across counties and states, FarmLink's benchmarking analysis across millions of acres of quality-assured and scientifically managed data showed consistent opportunities across corn and soybean growing operations — even in top-producing states like Iowa. In Butler County, Iowa, for example, a 2,000-acre corn farm could have realized $218,550 more revenue if productivity had increased to levels achieved on other farms under comparable growing conditions.
"Actionable data — not big data — is the key to increasing revenue for large and small farms, particularly when margins are tight," said Bob McClure, Chief Data Scientist for FarmLink, who built the company's advanced analytics platform using more than five years of proprietary data and 25 years of high-quality public data. "While there's still yield potential left in the field, top producers use data tools to give them an edge to compete against nature and economic pressures."
Farmers are looking for ways to increase income and reduce yield loss. As the USDA predicts farm incomes will decline for the second consecutive year, investments in seed, inputs and equipment must be validated or risk repeated underperformance.
"High-quality, accurate data can help growers and their advisors validate investment decisions, create a baseline for future performance expectations and establish a plan of action for 2016," said McClure.
FarmLink has added yield potential information for individual fields in six additional states to Discovery, its recently released free data platform. Discovery visitors can now view the 2015 yield potential of corn and soybean fields across 11 states, including: North Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. The platform is able to validate the effectiveness of farming practices and identify land potential more accurately and faster than public sources, based on its powerful data analytics.
"The next transformation of agriculture is happening right now — driven by the use of data science tools on the farm," said McClure. "Just as we've seen in other industries — like energy, telecommunications and manufacturing — high quality data can level the playing field and allow individuals to achieve greater results faster than ever before."
To view yield potential on land in America's Heartland, visit discovery.farmlink.com.