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Data Management For Precision Ag
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Data Management For Precision Ag

Use these tips to keep the information you need readily available

By Amy Winstead,
Alabama Cooperative Extension System
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Precision agriculture practices often generate extensive amounts of data – boundary files, yield data, guidance lines, prescription files, as-applied data – the list goes on and on.

Tips for managing and utilizing precision ag data are as follows:

1. Keep All Data
Even if you are not planning to use the data during the current growing season, it is probable that at some point you will.

2. Purchase Ag GIS Software
An Ag GIS software package will enable you to display and work with your data. When selecting a precision ag GIS software package, determine what your current needs are and what your future goals for using precision agriculture are.

Make sure the software is compatible with the equipment you are using or may be purchasing.

Also consider what user support options are available with your software and whether your program can be upgraded in the future.

3. Doublcheck Compatibility
When purchasing a computer that will be used to manage your precision ag data, make sure the computer’s operating system and memory requirements are compatible for the precision ag software package you choose to use.

4. Create A Workable Filing System
Develop a file system on your computer that allows you to easily locate your data.This is especially important if there are several individuals who access the data. Use folders and subfolders to group data by years, crops, etc.

5. Back Up Data Frequently
Frequently back up your data within your software and perform regular backups of your computer. It is a good idea to also store a copy of your data on a CD or other external source and keep the copy in a secure place. There are also several online data storage options available. PG

For more information on topics relating to precision ag, visit the Alabama Cooperative Extension precision ag Web site at www.alabamaprecisionagonline.com.

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