Growers: Don’t Use Our Data Against Us

Mar 31, 2016
Noble Guedon (left)
WASHINGTON, DC -- Mississippi rice grower Noble Guedon represented the rice industry today at a meeting hosted by American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) focused on the use of electronic farm data.  Specifically under discussion is the proprietary nature and use of data collected by global positioning systems and other harvest and input monitoring systems used in modern day farming equipment.

“I think we all see value in data in general,” Guedon said.  “But it is a slippery slope on privacy issues and we need assurances that the data will not be used against us on contracts, with crop insurance, or hinder growers’ ability to repair and modify our own equipment.”

AFBF's newly elected president, Zippy Duvall, kicked off the meeting and commended the participants for their participation and knowledge of the complex issues at hand.  Also among grower and data management representation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency and Risk Management Agency provided reports on the status of their ACRSI project to streamline data reporting and sharing between the two agencies.

Guedon found the meeting useful and noted that this issue will be discussed for the foreseeable future.  The near-term priorities include a farmer-led advisory group and the creation of a universal cloud storage system for farm data that allows farmer control and access of his/her own data.  USA Rice will continue to be involved in the dialogue and an advocate on behalf of rice farmers.