Portfolio Management Center

October Working Group Round-Up

By Dan Berne, AgGateway Portfolio Manager

Want to get involved or start a group? Contact Member Services at Member.Services@AgGateway.org.

As we eagerly anticipate the Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, in just a few weeks, I’ve seen a tremendous amount of energy around future projects, whether they are in the next phase of a current working group or are new areas of focus. You’ll notice a theme as you read this month’s update. Many of the current working groups have completed their deliverables for this year and will be meeting at the conference to define their next phase of work. Likewise, those with ideas for new working groups will be having “meet-up” sessions at the conference to gauge interest and further refine their initial concepts. So, there are many great reasons for you to attend the Annual Conference in Nashville, November 8-10. I hope to see you there!

Agrisemantics (WG 00)

The group continues working with the Data Linking working group on controlled vocabularies. They also continue to assist the Agricultural Lab Data working group on observation codes for plant tissue, as well as controlled vocabularies and glossary terms for the Product Catalog working group. They have worked closely with the Latin America soil testing group (Integração Dados Laboratório Solos) to help them develop machine-readable observation codes for MODUS testing methods specific to tropical soils.

In-Field Product Identification and In-Field Product ID Plugins (WG 01 and WG 08)

The working groups are looking at objectives and requirements for crop protection. These may include:

  • Provide an Automatic Identification and Data Capture “AIDC”-like approach to in-field product identification
  • Connect supply chain to field operations data
  • Provide automatic notice of “out of label”

A meet-up is planned for the Annual Conference to further define these objectives and determine what the next working group might focus on.

In addition, a video highlighting the results of working groups 1 and 8 will be shown at the conference.

Product Catalog (WG 03)

Group members have been meeting with other member companies to assist them in implementing the Product Catalog API. Implementation challenges include:

  • Catalog versioning to handle products no longer listed
  • Superseded products
  • New Canada Requirements
  • Efficient language translation

Scott Nieman of Land O’ Lakes presented a detailed overview at the Crop Protection Connectivity Canada meet-up. Meeting that group’s requirements will likely result in a version 2.1 of the JSON schema. The working group will discuss their next targets and phase of work at the Annual Conference.

Agricultural Laboratory Data (WG 04)

The group has completed its models for soil health and manure, and yesterday finished plant tissue. They have completed their work on water analysis testing. Their goal remains to complete the Modus work and publish the tables via a standardized API and schema before the Annual Conference.

Farm Inputs: Reference Data (WG 06)

The group has completed a reference data model on crop protection and a resource development framework (RDF) architecture on crop protection. These efforts were led by AgGateway member Lexagri-Wageningen University. The Portfolio Management Center has been reviewing the deliverables so it can move them to AgGateway’s Digital Resource Center to share with members and the industry. We will finish this work and the review of WG07 on September 15.

Farm Inputs: Work Order and Work Record (WG 07)

The working group has completed its modified version of the enriched SMAG data model for crop protection. The next step is for the Portfolio Management Center to review these deliverables on Sept 15, for handoff to the Digital Resource Center to share with members and the industry.

Data Linking Subcommittee (WG 09)

The working group has outlined its use case for developing a model for finding data repositories in order to track critical events.

The use case is: An external event, such as a derecho windstorm, has caused aflatoxins to contaminate a load of grain that has been delivered to a processing facility. The contaminant was discovered at the load out stage. Because testing takes two to three days to complete, the load of grain may have been moved on by the time the contaminant discovery has been made. The primary actor needs to understand their exposure, both backwards and forwards, so that they can mitigate that impact.

The use case is limited to finding the metadata that can point to the derived data that will help the primary actor take action. It does not include the derived data.

Ag Energy Ship Notice (WG 10)

The working group has paused, as it awaits technical support from within the members’ organizations.

Integração Dados Laboratório Solos – Latin America Regional Soil Lab Data Integration (WG 11)

The group has validated its scope and has begun reviewing the Modus model relative to tropical soil requirements. Andres Ferreyra of Syngenta will meet with the group to help them use the Modus tables and observation codes. Their next step is to meet with the Agricultural Lab Data group to discuss expansion beyond current reference models and to look at strategies for bringing on FMIS companies.

Precision Irrigation - PAIL (WG 12)

Members continue to work on completing Part 2 – Observations and Measurements.

In the Pipeline

Potato Provenance: A second meet-up was held on September 23. Attending companies included potato processors as well as FMIS companies. The group aligned on the goals and scope of the potential project. Participants agreed that the first objective would be to gather as much field data about the potatoes as possible, including name, location and geometry of the field. The participation of FMIS companies was deemed critical for success. Output from the meeting will be used to draft a charter for a new working group. Contact Conny Graumans via Member.Services@AgGateway.org for more information.

Closed Loop Spraying: The intent is to define the digital labels and provide recommendations to the growers for applying crop protection products. The data will enable growers to remain compliant with regulations and to capture a record of spray applications. This is similar to an initiative by Crop Life Europe. A meet-up on this topic is scheduled for Oct 27. Contact Conny Graumans via Member.Services@AgGateway.org for more information.

Water Use and Water Quality Management: The focus is on providing standards for obtaining, reporting and verifying water management data that can be used for sustainability credits. Almost all reporting today is voluntary and comes in many formats. This includes both the quantity (amount of water used, return flows) and the quality of the water (purity, leaching of chemicals, etc.). There is strong interest in carbon sequestration and understanding what data is required in agriculture and how that data can be seamlessly shared. This is tied closely with water quality management data by feedlots, commodity buyers, FMIS companies, etc. A meet-up session on the topic is scheduled at the Annual Conference.

Crop Protection Forecasting: At the recent Crop Protection Connectivity Canada meet-up, Scott Nieman of Land O’ Lakes presented the idea of providing crop protection forecasting for product shipments. This would be done by looking at three years of historical data, and combining that with daily updates, to improve shipment schedules. We will be sending out a call for participation in the coming weeks for this meet-up.

Field Boundaries: Many different shapes have been created to represent areas of land that growers operate today. These shapes can be different from one software or hardware device to another, creating issues for growers or service providers. A central database with versioning abilities needs to be created to standardize field shapes for growers and service providers. Tied closely with this is the need to standardize on a common reference model for Real Time Kinematic (RTK) networks to improve the accuracy of drone mapping for autonomous vehicles and robots. A meeting will be scheduled to narrow the focus.

Grain Scale Ticket: The focus is on standardizing the data to provide proof of delivery of grain from the farmer to the grain elevator. This includes actual delivery, proof of delivery, and transfer of ownership/custody. The data can potentially be used heavily downstream for traceability and stewardship. A goal is to eliminate the use of paper receipts. (This group would leverage work from the former CART project several years ago).