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Conservis acquired by Rabobank, TELUS Agriculture

While the word data may only have four letters, the small word’s significance holds great meaning for the future of agriculture. 

“Transparent, accurate ag data will become almost as prized a commodity as the products grown on the farm,” says Robert Lubben, executive vice president and senior program manager, Rabo AgriFinance. “As other players throughout the food supply chain look toward ensuring their suppliers are applying environmental, animal welfare, and employee standards that align with their own and their customers’ standards, farms will be challenged to easily and securely manage their data. The farms that can – through farm management information systems like Conservis – will be able to unlock more, profitable opportunities.” 

Recently acquired by Rabobank and TELUS Agriculture, Conservis helps farms organize data being collected from different sources and platforms, eliminate manual entry, create successful business plans, and confidently manage their cost and production operations throughout the year. The purchase combines TELUS Agriculture’s technologies with Rabobank’s knowledge and relationships across the entire food value chain. What that means for Conservis customers is a solution that aggregates a farm’s data into a single resource.

The Data Challenge

When it comes to data, there are two challenges Lubben says their clients face. First is data ownership. “There are a number of platforms that offer free services but at what cost to your data privacy? We believe farmers should maintain control of their data,” he says, adding that Conservis’ commitment to grower ownership of the data and transparency in its use aligns with that belief.

The second challenge is making the data useful. “Conservis has come a long way in connecting operational and agronomic data with financial reporting. There is still more functionality that farmers are asking for to truly make managing their business seamless. They want further linkage of on-farm data sources such as irrigation and labor-related data. We’re looking at how FMIS could simplify access to carbon and other sustainability credits, as well as easily but securely sharing crop trait and practices for enhanced market access and pricing.”

Through a partnership dating back to 2018, Rabo AgriFinance and Conservis have been helping farmers leverage their data to make informed business decisions.

“Since the beginning of that relationship, Rabo AgriFinance has seen how the Conservis platform empowers its clients with more accurate information at their fingertips,” Lubben says. “The Conservis platform is the first in the industry to take a variety of on-farm data sources and construct a crop year production plan, track actual production and revenue performance to a degree that there is no need to separately prepare cash flow reports for a lender or accountant. Most platforms can track activities up to harvest.”

In addition, Conservis can help growers track the revenue side of their business, ensuring they can take advantage of profitable crop marketing opportunities in volatile markets. “As an added bonus the platform also greatly simplifies crop insurance reporting. We have clients who have reduced the time spent on crop insurance tracking and reporting to their agent by several days,” Lubben says.

The addition of TELUS as a partner offers even more opportunity. “We bring complimentary skills to the industry and a common commitment to serving our agriculture clients by developing innovative solutions whether they be technology, finance, or ultimately knowledge,” he says. “Over the past several years, TELUS has built an impressive portfolio of technologies into which Conservis will be able to tap. Expanding the Conservis platform means more capabilities, a wider range of crops and livestock, and geographical expansion around the globe.

“It is exciting to think about the possibilities as Conservis grows to provide even greater value to its current clients and becomes suited to a larger swath of producers,” Lubben says, stressing that they are committed to maintaining the trust Conservis has built with its clients. 

“Conservis users will continue to own their data. They control when business partners, including Rabo AgriFinance and TELUS, receive information,” he says.

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