The Open Farm 2018 field day centered around the future of data integration and how to bridge the gap between the end users in agriculture and the developers of ag technology products. The second annual event was hosted by West Hills College, along with Blue Tech Valley and PowWow Energy and was held at the Farm of the Future at West Hills College Coalinga.
Director of the Center for Irrigation Technology at Fresno State Dr. David Zoldoske provided an introduction for the day noting “the conversation here is, what’s the future look like, and it’s going to be largely data-driven.”
With more ag technology innovations becoming available to assist farming operations through a variety of platforms, there is often a question of viability when it comes to new technologies. “That’s what we’d like to be able to provide, is a practical example of how those technologies are used on a farm,” said Director of the Farm of the Future Terry Brase.
Field demonstrations offered attendees an opportunity to review a continuous pump program, along with presentations on how some pump monitoring products function. There was also an examination of the economics and logistics behind gathering aerial images and the application of the data collected. A VERIS machine was also exhibited in a presentation to determine soil conductivity and how that information is implemented into a management map.
Data integration was the biggest emphasis during the grower panel that was moderated by Business Analyst for Bowles Family Farm Curtis Garner. The challenges that were discussed included the amount of data that is being collected and the difficulty in integrating that data into a cohesive evaluation of the farming operation. “We’re dealing with a bunch of data inoperability challenges, so the systems are disparate and they’re not talking to each other,” said Garner.