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Farmers Business Network Promises to Simplify Data

Unsure what to do with your on-farm data? A new option on the market promises to simplify  data. From yield information to soil maps, the Farmers Business Network (FBN) analyzes all of your data, and in return provides targeted information to use in the decision-making process.

An annual membership with FBN costs $500. “We are completely independent and unbiased,” says Amol Deshpande, co-founder and CEO of FBN. “We charge no acreage fees.”

The $500 membership includes setup, access to the database, insights, and the ability to compare your field to others on the network. FBN, a one-year-old company, provides farmers with both public data and on-farm data uploaded by other farmers. FBN already has thousands of fields entered into the system, with additional fields uploaded daily, says Deshpande.

The tool converts data into more useful information by using complex algorithms. FBN allows farmers to input single or multiple years of data. Your data remains anonymous, but is combined with the FBN community.

“We have built a system that allows us to analyze data,” says Deshpande. “We take planting, tillage, application, and yield data and integrate it within the farm."

The database is searchable by seed brands, benchmarks your fields, and makes cultural practice insights. FBN also includes real time weather. Once all of your data is entered, you’re able to compare your field performance against other fields in the network. It’s shows you the economic optimum.

“We do not want to write prescriptions for farmers,” Charles Baron, co-founder and vice president of product for FBN. “We provide tools and access to information to help make better decisions.”

Comparisons are available by field type, soil type, rainfall amounts, or hybrids planted – among other options. The tool then provides insights on your inputs or management practice. FBN gives comprehensive benchmarking for every field.

Farm data security
Farmers number one concern about sharing data is that it could fall into the wrong hands, says Baron. “They are concerned they might have to pay a higher price for seed or it may get into the hands of the Board of Trade,” he adds.

Because of those concerns FBN is focused on privacy. “The data is anonymous,” says Deshpande. “When someone enters the community, information is put in a blind pool.”

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