WO2017027292A1 - Methods for platforming agricultural business operations - Google Patents

Methods for platforming agricultural business operations Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2017027292A1
WO2017027292A1 PCT/US2016/045365 US2016045365W WO2017027292A1 WO 2017027292 A1 WO2017027292 A1 WO 2017027292A1 US 2016045365 W US2016045365 W US 2016045365W WO 2017027292 A1 WO2017027292 A1 WO 2017027292A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
method
agricultural
inputs
data
outputs
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2016/045365
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Adam HELMS
Original Assignee
Bayer Cropscience Lp
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US201562202355P priority Critical
Priority to US62/202,355 priority
Application filed by Bayer Cropscience Lp filed Critical Bayer Cropscience Lp
Publication of WO2017027292A1 publication Critical patent/WO2017027292A1/en

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q10/00Administration; Management
    • G06Q10/06Resources, workflows, human or project management, e.g. organising, planning, scheduling or allocating time, human or machine resources; Enterprise planning; Organisational models
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q50/00Systems or methods specially adapted for specific business sectors, e.g. utilities or tourism
    • G06Q50/02Agriculture; Fishing; Mining

Abstract

A method for aggregating, storing, and/or displaying data collected for aspects relating to agricultural operations comprising creating an agriculture-specific business management platform using one or more targeted inputs, said method comprising utilizing an interface that allows a user to selectively pick desired inputs to achieve a desired report and/or organization of agricultural data to enable a desired end use thereof.

Description

METHODS FOR PLATFORMING AGRICULTURAL BUSINESS OPERATIONS

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is an international application which claims priority to US provisional application no. 62/202,355 (filed August 7, 2015), the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION [0002] 1. FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0003] The present invention relates to a method for aggregating, storing, and displaying data collected for aspects relating to agricultural operations, specifically by creating an agriculture- specific business management platform on Intuit. Using QuickBooks software and/or a QuickBooks online database, the present invention is also directed to utilizing such information for input management, among other purposes, for analysis, communication, real-time decision making, predictive modeling, risk sharing, and/or sustainable agriculture purposes.

[0004] 2. BACKGROUND INFORMATION

[0005] US Patent No 8290795 discloses the method for receiving a crop insurance policy based on inputs into the agricultural system. By evaluating agricultural inputs, more information regarding production is presented, which is beneficial to stakeholders to determine financial risks associated with said inputs. The prior art denotes seed selection and location and agricultural inputs to determine the viability for financing the production. The disclosure focuses on the financial output generated by adjusting the inputs, in this case, genotype and environment. US Patent No 8731836 discloses a method for using a myriad of ground sensors to collect data, such as ground temperature, to display useful outputs, such as Fig. 3, which shows NDVI data for a farm layout, of the patent. The method for data collection is claimed, with the intention to display useful metrics for calibrating and collecting data in agricultural production. This technology outlined is to be used for collecting NDVI data to output monitor imaging and predictive crop outputs based on the data collected by sensors.

[0006] US Patent No 8816262 discloses a method for collecting data using real-time agricultural sensors, with particular attention to agrochemicals and seeds. With use of auto-calibrating sensors, this technology claims to collect this data into a barcode or RFID chip to store the data on the packaging of the seed or agrochemical. There are outputs in the technology wherein these outputs, which can be information on soils, for example, are displayed using a method that requires a scanner to withdraw the embedded information on a device, like a computer. US Patent Application No 2014/0321714 claims to use digital electronic spatial and/or spectral analysis to determine the nutrient composition of a crop with the intention to maximize crop yields by better understanding data such as dates, applications of nutrient(s), and locations of crops.

[0007] US Patent Application No 2015/0106434A1 claims the method for obtaining agricultural data based on cloud-enabled devices in an effort to store this data on the cloud for determination of harvest yields. This technology utilizes hardware, namely an agricultural data acquisition system, to collect data before, during, and after a harvest. The collected data is then used to generate outputs in the form of maps in an attempt to better understand harvest efficiency based on certain criteria, for example, soil, weather, or other agricultural data. This data is stored in the cloud using Wi-Fi components for data retrieval.

[0008] While in the agricultural business, there are many software and online resources for managing procedures, operations, and other activities, for example in the progression of a product being planted, treated (if necessary), harvested, stored, and distributed, these solutions are typically very specific to the industry, operation, or overall objective of the company. The present invention is directed to addressing the need for a customizable input management platform, advantageously Quickbooks or a similar platform, specific to agricultural entities, that enables the flow of information for various aspects for operating an agricultural enterprise.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] As technology in the way one inputs, collects, outputs, analyzes, and displays information is continuously improving, there needs to be an encompassing platform for customizing or accommodating the growing need to analyze the profitability and productivity of an agricultural enterprise. In the growing era of web and computer-based applications, the ability to have an interface that allows for one or many users to input critical variables into a user-friendly system has become particularly important in the agricultural management industry. The present invention describes a method for inputting and outputting customizable data, preferably using an Intuit QuickBooks platform, so that information pertaining to conditions relating to the financial health of the business, a grain farm, for example, can be analyzed and usefully displayed, perhaps in a report that is required by financiers or a governmental regulatory agency. The present invention also describes a method for using collected data to output information and/or reports pertinent to the business operations of an agricultural enterprise, which is precisely the benefit that using the financial interface QuickBooks provides. The use of data aggregation is important for maintaining organization of an agricultural enterprise during its business planning, product production, and post- harvesting state, for example.

[0010] In particular the present invention provides a method for aggregating, storing, and/or displaying data collected for aspects relating to agricultural operations comprising creating an agriculture-specific business management platform using one or more targeted inputs. In a preferred embodiment the method involves a platform that comprises an Intuit and/or QuickBooks interface or equivalent thereof. In a further embodiment the method involves a platform that comprises an online database that utilizes said inputs for input management, analysis, communication, real-time decision making, predictive modeling, risk sharing, and/or sustainable agriculture purposes.

[0011] A preferred method generates one or more specific outputs targeted for desired end use applications. In another preferred embodiment the one or more inputs comprise those of Figure 2. In another preferred embodiment the one or more outputs comprise those of Figure 3.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] For a further understanding of the nature, objects, and advantages of the present disclosure, reference should be had to the following detailed description, read in conjunction with the following drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote like elements. [0013] FIG. 1 shows a brief flow diagram indicating how an application of the present disclosure take inputs from either a manual entry or via downloaded data from some other data collection source.

[0014] FIG. 2 indicates the types of inputs that can be received by an application according to one embodiment of the present disclosure. In an example of a planted seed crop, exemplary indicators, such as date, time, and location of the planting are inputted as well as environmental factors and additives during the course of the harvest.

[0015] FIG. 3 outlines methods for collecting data according to an embodiment of the present disclosure. This can be from historical databases, field scouting and/or sampling, data collected from machinery, or from imagery/sensors that scan or sense the conditions during a harvest.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0016] The present invention is not so limited as is pointed out below and includes all forms of agricultural product production, presentation and operations, whether from seed or other starting material, and is not limited to plant or tree-based agricultural products, but includes for example livestock, poultry, fish, but the invention certainly is not so limited. For the avoidance of doubt, the term agricultural product, or product, as used herein includes all of these and any other agricultural products used for any purpose, including but not limited to food, clothing, medicine, or any other purpose

[0017] Information pertaining to the business planning state is pertinent for its usefulness in purchasing and storage of specific inputs. For example, with regard to seed-based agricultural products, information pertaining to the type of seed, cost of the seed, location of storage, time placed in storage, environmental conditions, cost of storage, for example temperature control, humidity of storage, and data relating to the projected utilization of the specific seed is typically important to be collected. It is additionally important to compile this data in an easy-to-read and manage platform, which can be tailored to the specific agricultural operation and/or scale of the enterprise. Utilization of an interface for quickly and neatly showing types of products would be especially useful for an operation that spans between several unique products with variable pre-harvest requirements, for example in storage and treatment requirements. Furthermore, the storage of these inputs affects an enterprise's financial health. Real-time balance sheet adjustments accessed through the aforementioned interface would enable the manager of an agricultural enterprise to make a more informed business decision about cash, inventories, liabilities, and other related business metrics. Additional benefits from collecting this data would assist in the year-to-year business planning of the agricultural enterprise.

[0018] Information pertaining to the product production state is inherently useful in maintaining data for the efficiency of the agricultural operation. Information relating to seed-based agricultural products, for example, is useful in determining location, time, and other conditions, for example in documenting weather and unique or irregular observations at planting. Data for operations during the harvesting process are important to document procedures that enable efficient and effective production of the product. This could be, for example in seed-based agricultural products, documenting soil type, soil moisture content, depth of planting, water consumption, amount and type pesticide, herbicide, and/or fertilizer additives, and weather conditions; documentation of dates and times for the internal procedures or external conditions is critical for the duration of the harvesting process. Further, this type of data collection is valuable for understanding and analyzing a specific operation. The ability to collect, analyze, and usefully display this data is valuable for being able to observe current operations and to improve the process for production. Using a software or online- based input management system enables one or even a group of individuals to easily and quickly maintain and improve production that could potentially span across several unique products with specific requirements that exist in an expansive environment in the case for a farm or other agricultural facility. Documenting the cost and amount of inputs used to produce an agricultural product to a specified unit (acre, field, farm, etc) and being able to access real-time commodity prices for the agricultural product, through the aforementioned interface, provides the manager of an agricultural enterprise the ability to make changes to the firm's production plan based upon market and product conditions.

[0019] Information pertaining to the state of the production post-harvest is significant for tracking and analyzing the appearance, condition, location, methods, transportation, and distribution of the product. Maintaining an effective supply chain from when a product is ready to be harvested, collected, packaged, sampled, inspected, regulated, sold, and/or shipped is imperative for cost-saving and managing the control of a production from inception to delivery to customers. Utilizing a platform that enables input management for how products are controlled post-harvest allows for an efficient and more simplistic reporting system for those involved in an agricultural production operation. There is a need to reduce waste, time, and cost during post-harvest; a platform on the QuickBooks software or online database enables operators to manage their post-harvest operations to a higher level, with still the ability to analyze even the small nuances within data.

[0020] There are also intuitive reasons to document the acquisition, treatment, and distribution of products in the case for regulatory management. Meticulously managing the elements for agricultural production are important for preventing, or even analyzing after-the-fact, foodborne pathogens. Government and private regulatory agencies, for example the US EPA, US FDA, and or USDA may demand accessible data relating to the treatment for example, during any of the business planning, product production or post-harvesting states. The ability to constantly and consistently collect data regarding the storage, treatment, sale, and transportation of products is critical for proving legitimate operations and inspections, especially since this invention relates to products that will be used for consumer consumption or other use. The ability to collect and display the collected information that is necessary for legal operations is powerful for delivering reports to these agencies in a quick and convincing manner; it also allows for certain elements of the operation to be more thoroughly critiqued in the case that there are inadequacies with the quality or failure to pass various inspections.

[0021] The outputs for the present invention are broken down into two main categories, as shown in Fig 1. Production management outputs relate to the productivity of the harvest of the crop. Business management outputs relate to the financial assessment of the agriculture business operation. Examples of such information that financial institutions typically need to see quantified include financial position and financial performance, whereas financial position includes typical operational costs in a company balance sheet as an "indication of the capacity of the business to withstand risk from future operations and provide a benchmark against which to measure the results of future business decisions" (FFSC Financial Guidelines, 2015) and financial performance indicates the results of the production and financial decisions, which are dependent on both internal and external forces. These are critical metrics for determining the success of the agricultural business and helpful for determining future decision making and risk management.

[0022] Furthermore, regulatory organizations regularly require reports and outputs from such a product and these also can readily be adapted for the intended purpose. Examples of such information for regulatory institutions include reports for private and/or public regulatory institutions and/or data mandated for labeling, packaging, or other recording method for control of a crop.

[0023] Production management utilizes inputs of the type, location, environmental, additives, and/or other factors that affect the quality and quantity of a crop production. Based on these inputs, valuable metrics can be generated to be analyzed for improving the production process. In addition, reports can be generated for regulatory agencies that may require a certain specification for the care of the crop. In this way, data for, but not limited to: grid sampling, variable rate fertilizer, variable rate planting, weather, crop scouting, multispectral imagery, and yield analysis, can be neatly outputted numerically or graphically. Such data layers could become additive data layers to an agricultural enterprise's decision making process. Whereas inventory management effects to the balance sheet are discussed above, this concept pertains to improving the overall production efficiency of the enterprise.

[0024] Business management utilizes tools for converting inputs into financial outputs that are related to any business operation, but can be customized for an agricultural enterprise. These can include, but are not limited to: land valuation, inventory, equipment status, facility and equipment maintenance scheduling, cost accounting, loan management, commodity price tracking, insurance management, compliance management, labor management, financial accounting (i.e. balance sheets, cash flow statements, etc.). This is inherently valuable for organizing an agricultural business for taxes, reports to shareholders, or for determining the financial state of the business at any given time.

[0025] There exist a certain number of benefits that will be found when the platform utilized is a QuickBooks type application. Those include a ready-made license agreement that end users will readily accept upon purchase. This is a very significant benefit for the following reasons:

integration with existing and extensive library of other non-agricultural-specific QuickBooks applications, familiarity with the platform, which is growing in popularity, whether it be as a user or recipients of application-generated reports, and variable pricing accommodations. Ideally, the present invention allows for the monetization of the business management portion of the platform, while enabling the one-time or subscription based model for including, developing and utilizing agriculture-specific input applications.

[0026] A related application to the present invention entitled A SYSTEM AND METHOD OF PROVIDING AGRICULTURAL PEDIGREE FOR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS THROUGHOUT PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION AND USE OF THE SAME FOR COMMUNICATION, REAL TFME DECISION MAKING, PREDICTIVE MODELING, RISK SHARING AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE, WO 2012047834 published April 12, 2012 is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

[0027] The present invention, while focusing on generating outputs based on agricultural inputs, expands considerably on the specifics for these inputs and outputs and preferably uses an interface, such as QuickBooks, for generating reports, which can be financial, to determine effectiveness of the inputs. The present invention includes a diverse and specific identification of agricultural inputs and their effect on the outputs, which can be, but are not limited to, some type of business management system, such as a crop insurance policy.

[0028] The present invention has some element for collecting data based on agricultural inputs, but allows for a more vast display of crop management zones, outcomes of these agricultural inputs within the zones, and a business management display to determine the financial output for the conditions of the production.

[0029] The present invention uses inputs such as soil type and content, but preferably outputs using the QuickBooks interface to automatically display useful outputs, such as soil maps, on the typical device, without relying on codes or tags on the production packaging. This is advantageous for a more powerful and direct display of information that can be generated and used throughout the agricultural operation to quickly and easily understand the outcomes of certain inputs, oftentimes at a moments glance.

[0030] The present invention collects data in order to improve profitability as well as productivity of an agricultural product, but makes no note of needing hardware for collecting data to send the data to a cloud-based computing system. Instead, inputs are manually transcribed into the system, such as advantageously QuickBooks, in order to automatically output analysis for harvest productivity based on the given inputs. Not needing hardware is a significant advantage of the present invention.

[0031] The present invention is advantageous in that it identifies additives and inputs such as plant date and location, and readily collects and outputs this data preferably on a QuickBooks interface so that process efficiency, such as percent crop yield, can be analyzed and maximized. There is no need for additional hardware, such as digital scanners, to collect the nutrient composition of the crop. Instead, a software model displays the conditions and additives of the crop, and displays the outputted production for the given input(s).

Claims

CLAIMS What is claimed is:
1. A method for aggregating, storing, and/or displaying data collected for aspects relating to agricultural operations comprising creating an agriculture-specific business management platform using one or more targeted inputs, said method comprising utilizing an interface that allows a user to selectively pick desired inputs to achieve a desired report and/or organization of agricultural data to enable a desired end use thereof.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein said platform comprises an Intuit and/or QuickBooks interface or equivalent thereof.
3. The method of claim 1, wherein said platform comprises an online database that utilizes said inputs for input management, analysis, communication, real-time decision making, predictive modeling, risk sharing, and/or sustainable agriculture purposes.
4. The method of claim 1, wherein said method generates one or more specific outputs targeted for a desired end use application, wherein said outputs optionally comprise production management data and/or business management related data.
5. The method of claim 1, wherein said one or more inputs comprise those of Figure 2.
6. The method of claim 4, wherein said one or more specific outputs comprise those of Figure 3.
7. The method of claim 1, wherein said method permits tracking of productivity based outputs and/or profitability based outputs relating to an agricultural project using common and unique inputs.
PCT/US2016/045365 2015-08-07 2016-08-03 Methods for platforming agricultural business operations WO2017027292A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

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US201562202355P true 2015-08-07 2015-08-07
US62/202,355 2015-08-07

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Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20050004809A1 (en) * 1998-06-22 2005-01-06 Kimle Kevin L. Method for electronically initiating and managing agricultural production contracts
US20080291030A1 (en) * 1998-03-09 2008-11-27 Aginfolink Holdings, Inc. A Bvi Corporation Enhanced Claim Validation

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20080291030A1 (en) * 1998-03-09 2008-11-27 Aginfolink Holdings, Inc. A Bvi Corporation Enhanced Claim Validation
US20050004809A1 (en) * 1998-06-22 2005-01-06 Kimle Kevin L. Method for electronically initiating and managing agricultural production contracts

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