Moving data from field to farm over the Web has advantages, provided you enter all your relationships with a knowing eye. Cloud computing is in its infancy in agriculture, but it offers a lot of benefits provided you enter those agreements fully understanding the relationship. These are contractual relationships between you and the service provider, with specific requirements from each of you.
What follows are some “relationship” tactics to consider to ensure you have a good long-term experience.
1. Read the privacy statement
Frankly, there are no secrets in how major companies are using your information; it is spelled out in the privacy agreement. We have some links below you can use for the major services, but it’s worth taking time to read. And if you can’t find it on the website, ask the provider for a copy.
2. Think about data uses
You may only be reading your own data now, but joining a cloud service may get you access to more information about products and services across the system. Work with your provider to learn more about that access.
3. Keep your originals
The cloud is a great way to backup data someplace off site, but you always have your original files and you should keep those stored somewhere safe too — even though you can always reach back into the cloud to get those originals.
4. Understand those trusted partners
You don’t collect all the information from your farm — outsiders, such as custom applicators, may be applying herbicides or fertilizers — so work to figure out how to get that information into your records for your use.
5. Keep updated
Service agreements will change and companies will offer further enhancements. Be sure you’re aware of how those new features and services will impact your relationship with those providers.
When entering into an agreement to share farm information, it helps for you to understand how that information may be stored and used. Each tech company offering cloud-based services has its own privacy page. Here are a few to check out. They’re designed to be read by people without advanced legal degrees and offer insight into these new services. Here is a short list of links, but make the effort to look for your provider’s privacy statement.
DuPont Pioneer — pioneer.com/home/site/us/privacy-statement
John Deere — myjohndeere.com/trust
Trimble Connected Farm — myconnectedfarm.com/EULA (You need to be logged in
as a Connected Farm user to view this link.)
Editor's note: This piece was featured as a supplement to the main story that appeared in the March issue of Farm Industry News. Read the original story: Maximizing the cloud for your farm business
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