Ryan Moore is principal and owner of M&M Ag Consulting - an ag data consultancy firm based in Arkansas. Ryan assists growers with the collection of all their field-level data and helps them turn this data into tangible changes to their farm management practices. In order to do this efficiently, Ryan needed to adopt the right digital tools that work for both himself, as well as his grower clients.
Ryan decided to utilize MyJohnDeere to collect geospatial machinery data and PCT Agcloud to transform this data into useful layers. Ryan also decided to adopt Agworld to turn all applications into digital records and allow for in-field use of the geospatial data layers created in PCT Agcloud.
With the help of Agworld, PCT Agcloud and MyJohnDeere, Ryan is able to provide a full-service ag data consulting offering to his clients. Because of this, the growers using Ryan's services are able to increase the level of data driven decisions that drive efficiency and profitability in their crops.
To some - ag data might be a relatively new phenomenon…but not to Ryan Moore. Ryan has been working with ag data since he left high school over 20 years ago and is now a recognized expert in his field. Having worked as a precision ag manager in the ag retail channel, and later as agronomy services manager for an Arkansas based John Deere dealer with over 30 locations - Ryan is uniquely positioned to turn his experience into tangible benefits for growers. Ryan took the opportunity in early 2019 to start his own independent ag data consulting business, now servicing a number of growers throughout Arkansas with over 55,000 acres between all of them.
Ryan provides both data and agronomy services, however, he is quick to clarify that he does not replace agronomists or crop scouts: “I work with the grower and their agronomic consultants and support them in what they do from a data perspective, so it really is another level of collaboration. Consultants tell me they really appreciate what I do for growers, as this makes it a lot easier for them to see what happens and when, such as: planting dates, varietal information, or spray data. I help the growers capture this information in Agworld, and their trusted advisors can also be granted access to this same information in Agworld, so it cuts out a lot of redundant communication via phone, texts and other old school channels.”
The range of services that Ryan provides to growers depends on their needs and current level of ag data usage. He explains: “When I meet with a new client for the first time I go into the meeting with a very open mind and try to find out what they are looking to achieve. Through my 20 years of experience I've got a good idea of what will work and what won't and I find that setting correct expectations is very important. I make sure they have the passion to make this process work in their organization as it's not a quick or easy process. It's easy to see a neighbor's results and want to do the same, but if they have not been involved in a similar process for 10 years, it's not realistic to expect the same results in the first year.”
Utilizing ag tech remotely
The core of M&M Ag Consulting's services is helping growers capture as much ag data as possible, and then assisting them in interpreting this data and allowing it to support a better and more data-driven decision making process for growing crops, says Ryan: “Most of my clients use John Deere equipment that is fitted with Greenstar to capture all data that can be collected during the season. I am able to access this data remotely, which helps to create a complete set of field application records in Agworld, and I surface the data layers in PCT Agcloud for further use. Both systems have integrations with MyJohnDeere and with each other, which makes the process a lot easier. Due to the remote capabilities of all systems I use, I only spend 15% of my time onsite and the rest in my own office.”
Ryan continues: “While some of the data gathering might seem rather basic, I find that a lot of growers really value this part of my service package. Quite often they know what they'd like to achieve over time, and they know they'll need to collect a lot of data to get there. I help them capture this data in a structured way so that we start to build a solid base of field level data that we can keep adding to. This ultimately will allow us to utilize this information for years to come. It's not like growers can't figure this out themselves, but it would just take them a lot longer; my experience helps me guide them from point A to point B in the quickest and most efficient way possible. Most growers don't even have a digital farm map and a simple way to capture field-level information yet, in which case I recommend Agworld as the platform for them to start building on..”
Using data to increase profitability
While every farm has its own set of problems and goals they need to achieve, becoming more profitable is the overarching goal for all his clients, explains Ryan: “Every grower wants to, and probably needs to become more profitable, but it takes data to determine what you should do to achieve this. The group of growers that I work with is very progressive and they're always pushing the envelope as to what they're doing on the farm. When growers capture their ag data through MyJohnDeere, process it in PCT Agcloud and centralize it in Agworld, it becomes a lot easier to decide what they want to try next.”
“These growers are willing to do variety trials, population trials, fertilizer trials, you name it. And we're not doing small plot research either - we don't farm 10 by 10 squares, so our trials are done in the same way that we farm our fields. By doing whole-field seeding rate trials, variety trials, application trials or litter trials, we can see what's working and what isn't. What Agworld offers us is tying everything together - from centralizing all information to keeping records, and showing us the profitability of what we're doing. Without capturing this data we'd just be guessing, and that's no good. Every management decision a grower makes has to make financial sense; Agworld helps us to determine this and it shows us what we should be aiming for.”
De Bortoli Wines used to rely on written records in journals and diaries to keep field records for all their farms. Due to the size and scope of their operation this created constraints, as it did not allow for multiple people across their operation to have visibility into the day-to-day operations.
The Davidson family experiences a lot of variation in yield across their fields, as is the case on every farm. Instead of keeping up the blanket-rate applications of fertiliser across the fields as they had done for years, the Davidsons wanted to be able to test a wide range of fertiliser responses across their farm so they can control for all local factors and don't have to rely on trial results from a different location and under different circumstances.
The way we interact with each other and the way consumers prefer to do business is showing an increasing tendency to move into the digital sphere. The ag retail sector is not isolated from this trend, with a number of online-only input providers appearing in the competitor landscape, and traditional input suppliers therefore need to take the appropriate steps in order to ensure their sustainability and profitability in the long term.