News > Articles > April 2021 > Data Management Ecosystem

Data Management Ecosystem

Apr 01, 2021

Throughout much of agriculture’s history, farmers had to make decisions based upon observation or recollections in their heads. Both sources were not precise, but it was the best available. As more scientific methods were introduced over the years, farmers could use research-based recommendations to improve production efficiencies. Today, digital technologies are again modifying the farmer’s decision toolkit and agricultural data has become a risk management tool that, for growers, is worth its weight in gold.
 
From the Inside Out
In recent years, the need for MKC customers and employees to collect structured data that can be converted in a real-time dashboard was becoming more and more important. MKC announced in July 2020 the collaboration with Agworld, one of the most popular farm data management platforms in the United States. With risk mitigation and profitability maximization, this tool was successful for everyone involved in the production process.
 
From expanding sales opportunities and gaining labor productivity to improving inventory utilization and enhancing product logistics, Agworld is helping MKC in its inter-agronomy workings. Agworld helps ensure MKC team members work as efficiently as possible through optimized workflows and standard operating procedures.
 
“With digital transformation becoming an even more critical component of the agricultural industry, we were seeking to find a partner to help us adopt a data platform across our business to align with our tagline of ‘Shared growth. Shared success.’ for our member-owners and our cooperative,” says Kent Nichols, MKC regional sales manager and Agworld project team co-champion. “Creating plans, budgets and recommendations for our customers to provide a positive customer experience and for ease of doing business has always been critical to our go-to-market strategy. With our partnership with Agworld, we now have the ability to pull this information together to help our customers budget and forecast field level profitability to help them be more successful.”
 
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors within the agricultural industry, a digital collaboration between growers and their trusted advisors became increasingly important. It is with these reasons in mind that MKC decided to adopt the Agworld platform into the organization.
 
After nearly nine months of integrations, standard operating procedure creation, training and more, MKC team members were ready to make the first round of work orders through the Agworld system in February 2021.
 
Once Agworld is implemented into the processes at MKC and employees are trained and more familiar with the program, the next phase of the full integration is delivering the data solution to growers.
 
Customer Focus
The future of farming is data-driven and Agworld is a proven software tool that allows ag professionals to collaborate with farmers about management decisions on their operation.
 
One of the most significant advantages of the Agworld tool is the opportunity for integration to create a seamless digital experience for growers and MKC. Agworld comes with a range of grower subscriptions to make the most of collaborating and capturing data. Some of the benefits of a grower and MKC working together on the Agworld platform include efficiently collaborating on plans and budgets, keeping high-quality digital farm records and gaining deeper insights into farm performance to make more data-driven decisions. Agworld offers the ultimate visibility of the most important financial metrics on a farm, enabling growers to stay on budget during the season.
 
“Agworld will ultimately improve communication, efficiency and transparency with our customers and allow farmers to gain more value from our services,” Nichols says. “Agworld helps farmers unlock value from the data they have today. By relying on data, we can work together to make decisions on cold hard facts instead of emotions.”
 
Agworld also provides growers documentation of what applications were made and when, so farmers know exactly what is being done to their fields. The tool documents all communication and facilitates record-keeping of crop plans, work orders and more, enabling farmers to make management decisions based on measured insights.
 
MKC Strategic Account Manager Jared Miller experienced some of the greatest benefits the Agworld platform provides to farmers when demoing the software tool with MKC member-owners Jason Ingermanson and Tristan Hall. At the end of 2020, Miller focused on becoming more comfortable with Agworld and knew Ingermanson Farms near Salina would benefit from this type of information. With the help of another MKC strategic account manager, Lucas Hamm, Miller put together a true field-by-field profit plan for Ingermanson Farms.

Hall, Ingermanson Farm’s farm manager, and Miller agreed that the planning completed in the fall of 2020 wouldn’t have been possible at that type of field-by-field level without the Agworld platform’s help.
 
“The opportunity to sit down and put together a detailed plan with a tool like Agworld was extremely helpful in the annual planning process for our farm,” Hall says. “Never before have we been able to put together reports of this nature to help make rotational decisions, utilize our VRT and grid scripts, and capitalize on inputs and our return on investment all at the same time.”
 
During the planning process, Miller and Ingermanson Farm also looked at hybrid management, recommended fertilizers, VRT recommendations and the physical dollars of inputs for the year.

The farm plan built with Agworld in the fall has allowed Ingermanson Farm to pivot and make input decisions when they need to be done quickly and efficiently through the winter and early spring.

Miller added that it takes time and attention to detail to accurately fill out everything needed for inputs on every field, especially with VRT, but the end results are extremely valuable.

“Delivering solutions like Agworld is the type of value MKC provides to customers,” Hall says. “Instead of MKC just being a basic retailer, with tools like Agworld, MKC can continue to provide data-driven business services that really add value to our operation.”
 
Committed to Collaboration
In today’s ag retail landscape, an integrated digital collaboration between ag retailers and growers is becoming increasingly more important. From maximizing share-of-wallet to improving client-retention and enhancing service delivery, digital collaboration is key to a successful future in ag retail businesses.
 
Zach Sheely, president of Agworld’s USA operations, is passionate about finding, developing, integrating and implementing the key technologies that will enable growers, their advisors and service providers to drive agriculture into the future.
 
Launched in 2019, Agworld’s cloud-based platform enables farmers and retailers to connect and share their data to efficiently manage crop production. A unique start-up story in itself, the idea for the collaborative farm management system came about when co-founder and CEO Doug Fitch was finding it difficult to minimize risk to his own family farm.
 
While Agworld has a global presence now, it took time to build its reputation in North America. The company currently has a U.S. team with offices in Colorado and California.
 
The company continues to receive recognition in the industry and isn’t slowing down. In early 2021, CropLife selected Agworld as one of the “best agricultural apps for 2021.”
 
“We’re very pleased that MKC chose to adopt the Agworld platform across their organization,” Sheely says. “Our platform is a great fit for a cooperative such as MKC, and choices like these of their team truly reflect the continued investment by Agworld in our suite of offerings. We look forward to working with the MKC team to continue to bring Agworld into the organization and with MKC’s farmer customers as well.”

Agworld Access

Agworld offers a free, view-only access for growers to see maps, upcoming recommendations, plans and more at www.agworld.com. They also provides a range of grower subscriptions to make the most of collaborating and capturing data on the same platform.

With a subscription, growers can use Agworld to avoid double data entry, optimize data recording and get it all done in the field. You will get real-time insight into your cost to date and gross margin as well as collaborating with your team and your advisors.

To sign-up for the free, view-only access of Agworld or to explore the subscription options, please contact an MKC location or strategic account manager. To complete the sign-up process for the free version, an MKC representative must invite a grower to sign-up for an account.



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