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Partnerships are Key in Figuring out the Data Puzzle

Nuseed’s collaboration with IN10T (pronounced “intent”) is bearing fruit as sunflower growers continue to find ways to capitalize on their data collection. In 2021, Nuseed and IN10T partnered to help Nuseed efficiently use the data generated and shared by its growers in large-scale field trials.

IN10T captured the data, contextualized it and provided the desired analytics to Nuseed. There are currently around 30 farmers taking part in the three-year project, and that number is expected to increase as Nuseed is looking for more farmers to participate.

“We started with some canola trials up in Canada and ended up bringing in some canola trials from the U.S. as well and brought some of their sunflower trials in the U.S. into our platform, too,” says Canadian Vice President Patrick Comte.

All three projects are built into what IN10T calls its INvision platform, which pulls all the data into one place and includes everything from weather data, satellite imagery, and on-farm data. IN10T has also created an in-field app specifically for Nuseed, which gathers data from hybrid trials. Using the app, Nuseed can monitor in real time what happens during those trials.

“The product or innovation that Nuseed is creating needs to work, and it needs to work for the farmer in their farming system. Farmers have increasing amounts of machine data, harvest data, application data, location data, and Nuseed is really looking for a system that can help them understand their product better, and how it’s performing on farms,” says Randy Barker, chief executive officer of IN10T.

“Tracking their innovations at the farmer level is really important, so that there’s a common feedback between how their products continue to perform in a commercial setting with farmers, and so they’re seeing the same data as the farmer would.”

The IN10T INvision platform looks at yield data, location data, time data, rainfall data and satellite imagery coming from farmers enrolled in Nuseed trials.

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“Nuseed needs to know how their hybrids are performing in different regions. So the idea is if you can get enough trials in a larger geography, you can start looking for trends around how products are performing in certain geographies under certain conditions, various stressful variables are in play,” Comte says. “The more data points we can get provides Nuseed with a lot more data around where they feel they can position those hybrids, because it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach for all hybrids.”

Through its partnership with IN10T, Nuseed can look at all the farmers that are using a product and use the data collected to facilitate communication and cooperation between the farmer (Nuseed customers) and the innovator (Nuseed).

For Kurt Spaid, who farms in Pierre, South Dakota, information that helps him better control his planter is vital, especially when it comes to sunflower. The data collected by the IN10T platform could allow Nuseed to provide him with vital insights to help him better plant sunflower.

“The size and shape of the seed is odd compared to others. They’re a little crooked or big on one end and skinny on the other, plus different hybrids are of different sizes. Then, of course, seed treatment poses a challenge as well,” he says. “If I can fine-tune my planter to plant a specific hybrid of sunflower just right, that’s of huge value to me.”

If Nuseed can do an even better job recommending products in different regions of the United States and Canada, it increases confidence with its retail network in recommending those hybrids to farmers and being confident that they’re going to perform, notes Roger Rotariu, North American Marketing Lead for Nuseed.

“This is so crucial for both our sunflower and canola products. For example, we have a new sunflower product we are testing, it’s an ultra-early sunflower. Knowing exactly how it performs in different regions is going to be key to the success of this product. You don’t just put a new product out there and tell people they should buy it. You have to prove that it works and that it does what you say it will do. The data we’re collecting during field trials better helps us do that.”