Universal dashboard offers streamlined solution for farmers
Key decisions for successful farm management rely on data, but how can you see the big picture when that information is spread across countless apps or computer programs? Innovative agritech startup Pairtree has created a solution for time-poor producers with a universal dashboard that captures and displays the essential data in one place.
As a fifth-generation grain and livestock farmer from Central New South Wales, Pairtree Founder Hamish Munro knows the heavy demands of running a successful farming operation.
He also understands the challenge of trying to make decisions to increase productivity or improve outcomes when you are time-poor and overwhelmed with data from different sources.
About 80% of farmers are reviewing data every day from up to 10 individual apps, hardware and software sources, whether its on-farm tech measuring their water levels, online news about commodity markets or computer-based programs keeping track of their finances.
It was from this issue that the seed of a new agritech solution began to germinate.
Developing a digital solution to centralise farm data
Hamish said the traditional process of manually gathering different sets of data limits your time and ability to improve easily repeatable decision-making processes.
Pairtree provides a universal dashboard to centralise data sets from across the entire farm operation and throughout the supply chain, providing farmers with a more accurate picture of farm performance and enabling them to make decisions based on holistic data.
It is an agnostic and independent system that can be completely customised to suit the individual needs of any type of farm or production system, and currently offers integrations with almost 100 agritech companies and digital agriculture services.
“My experience showed that farmers need complete flexibility and choice and that not one connectivity type or one device supplier or one service was ever going to either completely do everything that was needed,” said Hamish.
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“Sometimes on a single farm there could be a couple of different tank providers or weather station providers or soil probe providers or GPS tracking sources, and data from all of those was coming in on different networks through different suppliers.
“All this information was sitting in different data silos and no-one could easily access everything in one spot, to make higher level decisions from the aggregated data.
“With Pairtree, it’s all there, you can login anywhere in the world to access it instantly and see it all overlayed on your home farm map.”
Collaborating adds value for agritech providers and farmers
Pairtree has the largest ecosystem of Paired Partners (integrations) within Australia. One of these collaborators is FarmLab, which provides a streamlined soil testing process using a desktop and mobile app, offering integrations with soil testing labs that match soil test results directly back to the location where they were sampled.
FarmLab Co-Founder and CEO, Sam Duncan said partnering with Pairtree provides a value-added proposition to their own technology by expanding what the farmer can do with the data once it is in their hands.
“We provide software to help agronomists and consultants collect soil samples and share the results with their clients and farmers,” said Sam.
“Farmers can then use that information to look at changes in soil over time, and make better decisions around productivity and soil carbon.
“But then what do you do next with that soil data? We were always very aware that we solve a big problem for agronomists, but when that data gets into the farmer’s hands, they want to see it alongside their other sources outside of our scope, because you can use it to better manage your crops, yield, grazing activities, all sorts of things.”
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“We’re a soil management data company – we don’t do things like mob management, fertilizer management or crop management. You’ve got other platforms out there that do this really, really well, that the farmer may already be using to collect and store their data.
“We looked at Pairtree as an opportunity to really bring all these worlds together, to give a farmer some better insights into their full farm system.
“Being involved with Pairtree increases the value of the data that comes out of our products, but at the end of the day I’m more excited for the opportunities it offers the farmer.”
Paired Collaborators Badge provides certainty for farmers and industry
Simplifying a process and making it more efficient lies behind the development of any agritech solution.
For Pairtree, this includes making it easier for farmers to know if their current agritech provider is able to connect their data to the Pairtree ecosystem.
Companies such as FarmLab are given a Paired Collaborators Badge (PCB) to display, which identifies them as being able to share the data they collect if the farmer requests this.
Hamish said the PCB aligns with the principles of data sharing contained in the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) Australian Farm Data Code and helps promote a wider discussion about on-farm data stewardship and ensuring that farmers are the ones who control and benefit from their data.
NFF General Manager Corporate Affairs Charles Thomas said the Australian Farm Data Code aims to promote adoption of digital technology by ensuring farmers are comfortable about how their data is used, shared and managed.
“We worked for a couple of years to broker the key principles that should be upheld by anyone who is collecting and managing farm data,” said Charles.
“They’re things like ensuring that a farmer has the right to know who that data is going to be shared with, that it’s going to be secured in an appropriate manner, and most importantly that there is transparency upfront when a farmer is engaging a new service provider around how that data is going to be used.
“We released that first iteration of the Farm Data Code at the start of 2020 and by putting that out in the marketplace providers like Pairtree are able to compare their data standards and policies against the provisions of the code and take that as guidance on how they can potentially improve them.”
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Hamish said this is exactly what Pairtree has done and hopes it will give greater confidence to their customers.
“We think that we are the first Australian agritech company to meet the NFF voluntary Farm Data Code as we have just fully re-written all of our terms and conditions and policies,” said Hamish.
“We see this alignment as critical for us to provide confidence to farmers and users of Pairtree.
“Our Farmers’ First policy clearly directs all of our integration and service delivery processes. As a farmer, these terms, conditions and policies are what I would expect and so we have now made that commitment for others to follow.”
Find out more about the Pairtree system or enquire about becoming a Paired Partner here.
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