Helping to make sense of Digital Agriculture

Ask any farmer the name of a weed and they will reply with a term that is understood by everyone in the same region. Often, they will even give you multiple names because it’s known by more than one term.

Proagrica decided over 20 years ago that the rich diversity of phrases and terms commonly used to describe agriculture needed to be standardised for farm data to have value. This simple undertaking has since turned into a journey spanning two decades and is now a resource available to the wider agricultural industry.

The agX Content catalogue is a database of standardised names and terminologies curated by industry domain experts and updated every few weeks.  This provides app developers with the ability to provide users with a drop-down list of terms for a simple user experience and quality data collection.

It’s a topic that sounds a little boring, but just ask any data scientist, programmer or researcher who has tried to make sense out of data filled with multiple different user defined terms, and you might get a different answer. The value of data is in its ability to be understood by computers and automation, and the need to constantly translate user-defined terminology undermines that very value.

The agX Platform is a set of principles proven over time, and coded into a technology platform. Those principles include the need to capture data geospatially using structured data frameworks and standardised terminologies. The Content Catalogue is a critical foundation of the technology representing these principals.

As a catalogue filtered by country and region the Content API provides a ready-made resource for developers to use in building an app or digital solution. All chemical products have APVMA registrations and unlike other sources, it includes Seeds and Fertilisers – many with tech sheet references. Weeds, diseases and insects are provided in localised naming conventions but all with references back to the scientific name for global consistency.  The same goes for machinery, crops, crop growth stage descriptors and everything else that needs to be described in the process of digitising agriculture.

So, the next time an app developer inspired by a new innovation is faced with the challenge of providing their users with a drop-down list, the option exists to contact Proagrica and join a growing community coalescing around what is becoming the language of agriculture.