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Crop Portal gives a free taste of using farm data

Demonstration tool shows how data can be put to use on the farm

Sarah Lepp has another tool in the tool box for agronomists and farmers who want to analyze farm data.

The senior research associate with Niagara College Research and Innovation leads a team developing Crop Portal, a free tool which allows users to upload yield and input data, elevation mapping, soil tests and weather information.

The resulting maps, crisscrossed with colour-coded regions based on measurements across the field, will look familiar to anyone used to working with data. The Crop Portal platform is similar to others on the market, although Lepp stressed that it doesn’t offer advice. Any management decisions are up to the farmer.

“There’s a ton of consultants who do amazing work,” she said. “They make prescriptions. We don’t. We can help create management zones, but we do not make prescriptions. It’s up to the farmer, which is why we can have this as a free service.”

The Crop Portal also acts as a demonstration of data and how it can be used on the farm, she said. It’s geared more towards farmers already used to working with data or for consultants and researchers. However, even those new to digital agriculture may find it useful to familiarize themselves with data analysis.

The web-based software is accessible at http://cropportal.niagararesearch.ca.

About the author

Reporter

Alexis Stockford is a journalist and photographer with the Manitoba Co-operator. She previously reported with the Morden Times and was news editor of  campus newspaper, The Omega, at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC. She grew up on a mixed farm near Miami, Man.

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