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Safely Storing Farm Data

Whether you’re collecting gigabytes of data every day from precision agriculture technology or just keeping farm management records up to date every now and then, following good farm data storage practices will keep all your information safe and organised.

Storing private data

This is data like credit card pins, storage lock codes, computer passwords etc. All the things that we’re told not to write down but inevitably write down anyway. With so many different combinations, how can anyone expect to remember them all?

However, times have changed and now you’re more likely to be cyber attacked and hacked than have someone break in and use the written passwords to log in. That’s why it’s more important that you keep your data secure by keeping back-ups, using anti-virus software and using a system of passwords rather than just the same one over and over. If you’re going to write them down, best keep them some place safe where no one can just stumble over them.

Your farm data is a vital part of ensuring your farm runs smoothly and successfully. Keep it safe, and organise it well!

Spreadsheets can be useful, there’s no doubt about that, but could there be a better way to organise your farm data? Timelines, graphs and other farm simulations might be more suited to you if your spreadsheets start to get muddled. There are plenty of farm management apps and systems being developed – now could be the time to try a new way of organising your precision agriculture data.

Storing data on clouds is a good way to free up some space if your computer is getting clogged up; there are plenty of free and paid cloud storage options available, just make sure you keep everything backed up your end too, on a separate hard drive if necessary.

Apps

Most people will just skip past the terms and conditions when downloading a new app without checking where their data is actually going. This is no different for people downloading farm management apps of all kinds. When you are inputting important information about your farm to these apps, you’ll want to make sure you know where that data is going.

For example, you may need to input the data about the location of your fields and the types of machinery you use on your farm. You might be thinking ‘who cares about that?’ and just input the data anyway. This could be a mistake. If your data is shared with third parties on the app, or published online as part of farm reports and studies, then suddenly everyone knows what machinery you use and where you keep it – the perfect opportunity for thieves.

Another example would be inputting the mixture of herbicides you use so an app can calculate costs or use the data to calculate how many acres you can cover. If this data is published online for everyone to see, your once secret combination to killing weeds and giving your crops a head start could be used by farming neighbours and competitors alike.

Of course, this isn’t going to happen to everyone and most apps will protect your data from third parties or only share parts of it. Still, it’s worth checking those ts and cs!

Data is very powerful, it can boost your farm efficiency and yield improvement or it could cause a real headache. Keep it secure and organised.

 

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