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BrownfieldAgNews reports:

To hear it from some of the state Farm Bureau leaders, one of the biggest issues considered by voting delegates has to do with the ownership of data collected from farms.

Voting delegates at the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention adopted policy Tuesday stressing the need to expand property rights that take into consideration new information-gathering technology, such as what's collected by drone aircraft and so-called "big data."

Data collected by seed or machinery companies can be a benefit to farmers, said Scott VanderWal, president of the South Dakota Farm Bureau Federation, but he said there are questions about what happens to it once it's collected.

"Who gets that data, who has access to it, what are they allowed to do with it, who owns it, does the farmer actually own it, or does the company that provides the technology to do that own it?" said VanderWal during an interview with Brownfield Ag News in San Antonio. "Those are all questions that we need to answer because we're very concerned going into the future about who's going to have access to that information."

Steve Nelson, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau agrees that the data collected by companies as a result of precision farming systems can be a benefit to farmers, but he too has questions about what happens to it once it's collected.

"What happens to their data once it maybe is put into a system?" asked Nelson. "We've really been a big part of a discussion to put together policy that will be discussed at this annual meeting to deal with that and to kind of lay out some parameters as to what we think is appropriate in ways to properly handle that data."

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