Farmer data brought into one house for better usability

FieldView is a software platform often used on an iPad that allows farmers to bring all of their agronomic information into one spot.

It enables growers to visualize their information in new ways and allows them to find insights that are difficult to see when the data is in raw form.

“If you’re thinking of smart farming in the way of putting your data to work for you, and using that information to make improvements or more informed decisions that before were made by historical knowledge or your gut or that sort of thing, I think absolutely it (FieldView) fits into that sort of space,” said Denise Hockaday, business lead for the Climate Corp. in Canada.

The information produced from different brands of farm equipment are usually in different formats that do not mesh, so Climate Corp. developed FieldView as a neutral place where all that information, plus more, can be combined.

Historical maps and data growers have accumulated over the years can also be brought into FieldView.

The FieldView system includes the FieldView Drive, a device that plugs into the CAN diagnostic port in farm equipment that reads and imports information into a growers account.

When a machine equipped with a FieldView Drive travels across a field, the program maps a path and draws a new picture of the field.

There will be multiple maps on any one field in the FieldView program.

“One layer might be their application map, one map might be a planting map, a zone map, a harvest map. But they can look at all those maps on top of each other and look at what they did on the field and the outcome of that at the end of the day,” Hockaday said.

The FieldView Drive connects through machinery’s ISOBUS port and by Bluetooth to an iPad in the tractor. If the iPad doesn’t have internet connectivity in the field, the information will be stored on the iPad until it has cell service or connects to WiFi, and then the information will be uploaded into the cloud.

FieldView can also be used on a smartphone or computer, and if there is any problem with any of these devices, all the information is backed up in the cloud and is accessible from anywhere.

Information on environmental conditions is also brought into the program for analysis.

“We provide weather information, rainfall, heat as it relates to that field. So, kind of a field specific data. You can visualize that in the same spot as all your other information,” Hockaday said.

So far, FieldView does not connect to any on-farm weather station data, although the company is working on a platform partnership to be able to include this data.

The Climate Corp. works with partners in Canada and around the world to generate weather data, and has an in-house weather analysis team.

Satellite images are also used to assess the vegetation so the performance of various parts of the field can be ranked, which helps direct scouting efforts.

“Instead of wasting time trying to walk the whole field, you can (go) to the areas you already know are having problems and we also provide the actual satellite image, so you get the true image of what the picture is,” Hockaday said.

FieldView uses different satellites and it process and serves an image of each field to a user’s account every 10 to 12 days on average, she said.

The graphical visualization of the various maps and images on an iPad makes the information much more useful when combined than any map would be on its own.

Growers can visualize where the differentiated fertility programs or products were used on a field, and then monitor it over the course of the year.

FieldView is not confined to a visualization and analysis tool; it’s also a communication tool.

“You can go into your field, drop pins, capture notes take pictures, and share them with your crop consultant. If you need to address something it’s an easy communication tool between two parties to be able to act on something,” Hockaday said.

FieldView is also a record-keeping tool that growers can use to show when a farming activity took place, for instance spraying, or to demonstrate adherence to best management practices.

While the FieldView software is proprietary, Hockaday said she believes the company operates in an open and collaborative manner because of the many platform partners it works with.

“Ours is more open. It’s a neutral, collaborative place farmers are able to bring all of the data to one spot in a very productive way,” Hockaday said.

“Field view is a platform because it’s not just a software product being sold on it’s own. It’s a platform because it integrates with other platforms, and other places that farmers may have data.”

Fieldview can integrate drone image from Deveron Canada, a company that provides in-season, high-resolution drone imagery. Growers can also add images from their own drones.

“We just announced some new platform partners late last week, an example is DroneDeploy. We have some farmers who have purchased drones and they use a software like DroneDeploy to analyze those pictures,” Hockaday said.

The FieldView annual licence costs between $1,000 to $3,000, depending on farm size. Farms with 1,000 acres or less pay $1,000 per year, while farms with 10,000 acres or more pay $3,000 per year.

Farmers own all of their data in FieldView and can take the data with them if they choose to leave the program.

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