Advancing Digital Agriculture and Conservation Policy Workshop: Small Group Discussion
Facilitator: Jason Konefal
Participants: Sarah Sippel, Dennis Buckmaster, and Sylvie Brouder
· Discussed the relationship between data and recommendations or changes in management practices.
o What is the quality of data need in order to make recommendations?
§ Question of how to bring together and aggregate data from different programs. Question of access
and sharing of data.
o How to connect data and recommendations regarding management practices?
· Farmer adoption and use of technologies and data platforms (e.g., calculators) discussed
o Research raises questions as to:
§ Value to farmer (benefits vs. cost)
o Data useful to farmer? Presented in useful form
§ Technologies user friendly; ease of operability
o Thus, technical assistance often required
o Question of integration of data collection, reporting, and analytical tools; eliminating need for
people to enter data
§ Lack of incentives for farmer adoption of many digital ag. tools, especially related to sustainability
§ Issues of scale appropriate technologies (farm vs. field level)
§ What level of data do farmers need; what level is overkill
§ Who has access to data; how might data be used by buyers
o Some discussion of generation gap; ag students now receiving training and doing internships
connected to digital agriculture.
· Relationship between policy and digital agriculture
o Three kinds of policies:
o Carrot policies: Incentivize adoption and use of digital agriculture tools
o Stick policies: Mandate use
o Infrastructure: Establish conditions and frameworks; such as data security policies
§ Thought significant role for policy with respect to infrastructure policies
o Discussion of public policies vs. private sphere; which one more influential with regards to digital
agriculture at this time
· Discussion of how different regulatory conditions around Potassium and Nitrogen may affect development of digital agriculture tools and farmers willingness to collect (and share) data.
· Sylvie noted that it may be worthwhile to look at other areas, such as medical, to see how they have handled similar issues, such as data concerns.
· As I am sure there are things I missed, Sarah Sippel, Dennis Buckmaster, and Sylvie members please add to and elaborate.