Delivering results through improved data accuracy
Built by farmers, for farmers, MFA Incorporated is a cooperative that currently serves more than 45,000 members. Established in 1914, MFA is headquartered in Columbia, Missouri. The cooperative prides itself on timely communication with farmers and owners, providing top-tier customer service, and helping farmers improve their daily operations.
In order to grow their business and best support their farmers and growers, MFA must be able to demonstrate value. “When we’re working with a grower, the biggest hurdle is to get him to try something new; to communicate to them effectively what we’re trying to do for them and what the end result is that we are looking for. Trying to communicate the science behind some of the things we’re trying to do and being able to put dollars and cents to that – it is key for our business,” says Thad Becker, Precision Manager for MFA Incorporated.
“One thing I can hang my hat on, I know I’m going to be looking at good data. From each of our locations, I know the data is good.”
Thad Becker, MFA Incorporated
When selecting a tool for their business, the MFA team wants to work with the best. They also want to build long-term relationships with their vendors and partners. “It all comes back to standardization,” says Mr. Becker. As they considered technology solutions, MFA wanted applications that would:
- Provide standardization in reporting
- Ensure data accuracy
- Allow strong connectivity
- Provide ease of use
- Streamline training
MFA selected to utilize both Summit, a desktop application, and Sirrus, an iOS application for iPhone and iPad. These applications met the company’s need for data accuracy, connectivity, and provided the added benefit of streamlining their technology across the organization. “The standardization across the company means that my reports look the same from location to location, grower to grower. It enables communication across our team,” says Mr. Becker.
Summit’s data management features allow customers to create agronomic efficiencies through flexible record keeping, all in one location. Summit is a Windows PC application that includes an enterprise strength local data store and is built to handle large local data stores, up to hundreds of gigabytes. It is customized to support the way you work; all action points can be performed in disconnected or intermittently connected states. Summit synchronizes data with agX utilizing agX Sync and its RESTful APIs all secured by OpenID Connect Authentication and encrypted data.
Used in partnership with Summit, Sirrus provides the tools needed to optimize crop production. A mobile decision support system for precision agriculture, Sirrus offers agX standardization that allows you to help collect data while connecting to other services that add value to your business. With fully disconnected capabilities, Sirrus is a mobile iOS application that synchronizes data with agX. Additionally, Sirrus is fully agX compliant with the complete list of agX content, including the full list of agricultural equipment, practices, and inputs.
After more than a decade of utilizing the Summit and Sirrus applications, MFA continues to rely on the standardization, the data accuracy, and the communication tools. Going forward, they plan to increase the areas in which the applications are used and identify ways to continue to add value. “I want my growers to be logging in and looking at my software platform and I want my managers to be looking at it and I want my sales people to be looking at it. And I think we’re getting to that point, hopefully in the near future we’re going to be able to communicate digitally more effectively and it will be simple,” says Mr. Becker.