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Genetic Makeup

A new crop-management tool is helping you crack the code to better farm management practices. Launched in 2013 by Paul Turner, AgDNA is a cloud-based program that has registered users in 88 countries with 7 million acres of farmland boundary mapped.

"It allows you to make full use of the ever-increasing amount of electronic data being generated in modern agricultural systems,” the Australian-based technology company owner explains. “It brings all this data together in a usable form to help your farm business run more smoothly.”

How it works
The intuitive software can be downloaded, free of charge, from the App Store or Google Play. Pricing for a subscription is based on the number of records you need. 

“AgDNA operates on a ‘freemium’ pricing model, which means the basic entry-level subscription is free,” notes Turner. “If you would like to save more records per month or to use some of the additional features, annual subscriptions are available.”

For example, the fee for zero to 10 records per month is free; zero to 25 records costs $99 per year.

The program allows all subscribers to easily map field boundaries and calculate total field area; to preplan upcoming season activities and share with others; to use GPS to map machinery movements through the field; to track machinery live and see vehicle location, speed and progress; to share field-scouting observations and images automatically; and to link others to your account so all activities are saved in one location.

Along with increased monthly records, paid accounts are able to set up multiple farm accounts, export field boundaries directly from the app, and connect with third-party partners.
New data is only entered once. If the Internet is not available, it automatically uploads when the device comes back into range.

Once field boundaries are mapped or imported, other information (such as soil profiles, irrigation, and fertilizer applications) can be overlaid to provide a complete picture.
Weather data can also be added to build a detailed history of how individual crops performed across the seasons.

Turner says there is a lot of interest from third parties to allow their customers to access other data types over the AgDNA mobile platform. The recently launched AgDNA Partner Portal aims to provide a one-stop shop to view your entire farming history on a single screen no matter where the data originated from.

“We are working with machinery manufacturers and other precision farming technology providers so that electronic data being generated on crop yields, fertilizer application, or spray rates can be readily uploaded to the AgDNA program,” he says.

System upgrade
Fugitt Farming Company, Bakersfield, California, sees AgDNA as a means of increasing its adoption of precision farming practices.  

“Most people around here think of precision farming as only being GPS auto-steering,” says Travis Fugitt. “There aren’t too many producers adopting variable-rate application, irrigation management, or similar precision farming practices.”

AgDNA is helping the Fugitts, who grow 1,200 acres of cotton, wheat, alfalfa, cabbage, garlic, and carrots, better understand how, where, and when they are farming.  

“The next step is to share the data back and forth with our agronomist over the AgDNA platform,” he says.

“Information that might otherwise take months to assemble can be captured as it is generated,” says Turner. “The potential productivity gains, improved yields, and timely access to critical data from using mobile devices and connected data services is huge.”

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