Portfolio Update

Highlights from the North America Mid-Year Meeting

By Ben Craker, Portfolio Manager

As expected, the Mid-Year Meeting was a whirlwind of working group and other activity with several of us looking for a way to clone ourselves to take part in more than one session at a time. Through the jam-packed three days a lot of progress was made, and great discussions were had in the in-person meetings, which helped to clarify the direction of multiple projects.

If you were not able to attend, or if you were there and wanted to go back and review some of the material presented all the slides from the sessions are posted here on Confluence.

One of the biggest topics coming in the week was the release of v1 of the ADAPT Standard. While this is a significant milestone with wide reaching implications for the efficiency of data exchange across the agricultural industry, the team is not resting on its laurels. Much of the discussion in several working group sessions was about where do we go next, what do we want to add to the ADAPT standard, and what topics might need to stand on their own.

The Modus session was a prime example of this debate. The soil lab test method standard is a great test case for how the much-anticipated observations and measurements framework developed within PAIL – now codified in ISO 7673-2 – could fit within the ADAPT Standard. Expect to hear more on this topic soon both on ADAPT calls as well as in the Modus meetings.

Similarly, the Field Boundary GNSS Accuracy team concluded what they were defining in their work was a high-fidelity boundary with a lot of metadata that would be very valuable, however might be more than a terminal in a machine would need. As a result, they are reviewing their data requirements and guidelines to make a recommendation on how this would be implemented within ADAPT.

Another exciting milestone was the completion of the Traceability API work. The team reviewed the API and associated process diagram covering the data exchange points needed to track seed from delivery to the farm to field placement. This work has value to almost everyone along the supply chain:

  • It allows seed manufacturers to have clear understanding of where seed went in the event of a recall or other issue
  • Other input manufacturers would have access to more detailed information to track product efficacy and make more informed decisions.
  • The grower would now know what seed – and seed treatment – went where to better manage on-farm trials and make more informed decisions in the future with less burdensome data capture during planting.

It will be exciting to see some of the first implementations and what value this culmination of nearly 10 years of work on traceability brings to the industry.

One of the topics that had the most interest and engagement from participants was the Entity Rules session … so much so that it came up in a couple other meetups. There are a lot of perspectives and clear business value in ensuring databases like AGIIS are accurately updated with correct grower entity identification information. We are taking back a lot of the notes and feedback from the sessions and are likely going to organize a dedicated face-to-face meeting to help work on the topic, so stay tuned for more information as plans are confirmed.

The Data Ethics session had some great debate about how we want the output from the working group to be used, which informs some of the content and points that will go into the updated whitepaper. Everyone left the session with an assignment to go read through some new material presented as well as some interesting viewpoints that were shared in the meeting.

Another common theme was how much of the work of AgGateway fits within the new ISO Technical Committee 347 on Data-Driven Agrifood Systems. There was a dedicated session on how all the different international pieces fit together and why it is important for AgGateway and member organizations to be represented though their national standards bodies in the project. The new undertaking by ISO has the potential to have global impact and benefits to anyone that exchanges data in the agrifood space.

This was especially apparent in the Agrisemantic and PAIL sessions. One of the first topics the ISO TC will begin working on is a crop list, a perfect home for the output of WG00 and their crop definition model. This also has direct implications for plans for future AgGateway semantic infrastructure which ties to the needs not only of the PAIL work to have a place to programmatically access controlled vocabularies but also implications for Modus codes. In the new connected world in which we live, more and more of the different seemingly disparate resources AgGateway working groups develop will be interconnected and dependent on one another.

Finally, the sessions were not just making progress or wrapping up existing working group deliverables. There were several sessions that are going to lead to new working groups kicking off. The harmonized contract discussion was another point that had a lot of interest and seems to be a great candidate to show off what the new connectCenter tool can do to speed the development of messages and easily express them in different contexts. Also, follow on work for the Modus team to work on additional lab test matrix like feed and plant tissue were identified. There were also some discussions on updating the mix ticket work, so we expect to host a meetup soon to gather more feedback.

And those are just the high points, there were many other discussions both in the sessions and around the coffee pot, at networking events, or after hours that will lead to new working groups as AgGateway members continue to identify issues to collaborate on to help reduce the friction of data exchange across the agricultural data value chain. 

As usual if you have any questions on the activities of any of these working groups, an idea for a new group, or want to get engaged feel free to contact me (ben.craker@aggateway.org), or sign up for a working group here.