With all the information farmers are collecting these days there's a new science emerging - AgIT for Ag Information Technologies - and BASF sees an opportunity to help farmers with that information. The company recently launched Maglis, which is a new web-based platform that will grow over time to offer customers a range of new tools for managing information for improved decision-making.
As Maglis rolls out the first tool available in the United States will be the Customer Navigator - which is an in-depth tool for a farmer and a BASF Innovation Specialist to use to maximize planning and utilization of tools for the farm. The system allows a farmer to plan application of BASF products and communicate that plan easily to dealers and custom applicators as needed.
The program will build on the BASF Grow Smart program where farmers and trusted innovation specialists work together to build plans for managing a wide variety of yield-impacting results. "Farmers are collecting a lot of data," says Paul Rea, senior vice president, Crop Protection, North American BASF. "They want help in how to put that information to use. Through Maglis, BASF will work with farmers to further personalize their experience, and enable them to develop a complete plan tailored for each growing season, and ultimately achieve their operational goals."
The Innovation Specialist is the basis to work with growers to maximize the Maglis online platform as the system grows. And the system will grow. Already in Canada the company is offering a Crop Plan tool and a Sustainability Assessment tool which will expand the capability of Maglis in the future. But how does that first tool - the Customer Navigator - help a farmer and the Innovation Specialist?
Communication is a key example. During a media event launching Maglis to market, Indiana Farmer Ben Moore, talked about the tool and how he used it on his farm. His Innovation Specialist Neil Doherty also sees the value, and would have liked to have had the tool earlier in 2015 when flooding rains hit the Eastern Indiana/Western Ohio area.
Moore is president of Stateline Precision Farms, and he has been testing Maglis, but not when those rains came. When the flooding hit it forced the need to change product and application plans across the farm, and quickly.
That can sometimes be like that elementary school game of telegram where you whisper a phrase in someone's ear and it gets whispered to the next person and on, and on. The resulting final phrase is often nothing like what you started with.
When something bad happens forcing a change in plans, communicating those crop protection plan changes across the farm and to retailers and custom applicators can be a challenge. It can be like that game of telegram.
Customer Navigator solves all of that. "I couldn't get to Ben's farm to scout," Doherty recalls. "He was calling me with new plans and needs and we were making the best of it to communicate changes. With Customer Navigator we could have adjusted the plan and communicated the same information to everyone one at once. It would have made a difference."
That level of 'instant' communication can come in really handy when a crisis hits, but the system also assures that all players that support your operation are properly informed on what products go on which fields, and when. Maglis Customer Navigator will make building the application plan easier.
The platform is online-based, meaning a farmer can access information from the farm office or through a smart phone while in the cab of a tractor. Optimized for mobile platforms it means the farmer can keep in touch with suppliers and that Innovation Specialist more easily.
The next two "modules" headed to the U.S. include the following:
Maglis Crop Plan - this is an efficient way or farmers to monitor and manage field activities. It connects information about local weather, soil conditions and weed, disease and pest warnings for farmers' individual plans.
Maglis Sustainability Assessment - helps farmers to become more resource efficient. This is a different kind of application than a standard yield mapping tool. The program will demonstrate the impact of practices such as business profitability, soil health and biodiversity. This is a sustainability benchmark tool that will allow you to get a comprehensive analysis of your operation from planning through harvest, and measure activities versus other like-size operations.
And BASF notes that more tools are under development. Maglis is a significant launch for the company, and you can expect more in the future. Learn more at maglis.basf.com.