There's data, and there’s science. And then there's the human touch.

Main Street Data combines data science with human insights, for intelligence that goes beyond information. MSD’s experts offer powerful wisdom that does more than inform decisions: it’s transforming the ag-tech industry.

There's data, and there’s science. And then there's the human touch.

Main Street Data combines data science with human insights, for intelligence that goes beyond information. MSD’s experts offer powerful wisdom that does more than inform decisions: it’s transforming the ag-tech industry.

While data science informs, human intelligence transforms. The ag industry is in the middle of a tech revolution, and many users of ag data are scrambling for more information. And while more is definitely more in the data science world, human insights are increasingly valuable – to interpret, augment, and provide insights into these massive amounts of data. Main Street Data’s experts – Bob McClure and Ken Cassman – offer human judgment that goes beyond the mere informational use of big data. For instance, when massive flooding covered much of the Midwest in early 2019, MSD provided qualitative commentary to interpret soil conditions and possible recovery, giving insurers both knowledge and wisdom about the harvest’s potential outcome.

Data science is critical to the future of agriculture. But without human insights, it’s just a series of data points. While data science alone is incredibly valuable, without human interpretation, it’s merely a set of numbers. This was made clear during the 2019 harvest, when the transformative influence of human insights became an imperative. While monthly USDA yield reports were highly anticipated, they were also too infrequent for many ag data users. In an age when data is immediate, Main Street Data was able to provide yield forecasts twice daily, vastly improving accurate yield forecasting during a growing season that was fraught with flooding and delayed planting. In fact, the experts at MSD were able to overlay historical data, similar to 2019 flooding data, to the 2019 forecast – which resulted in much more refined forecasts that the USDA ultimately agreed with in their final reports. As shown below, the Main Street Data yield forecast was in place months before the USDA weighed in with the same, final number.

Kenneth Cassman

Dr. Kenneth Cassman, Chief Agronomy Officer

Bob McClure

Bob McClure, Chief Data Scientist

< This dynamic chart shows how Progressive WeatherYield forecasts yield based on massive amounts of historical yield and growing conditions data, along with trillions of weather data elements. Note how PWY (green dots) foretells the USDA estimates well in advance of release – generally 4 weeks ahead of their reports.

Dynamic Chart Showing Corn Yield & Price History

What’s more: this wisdom is applied to crop stages. Growers know that corn’s silking stage is critical to the season’s success. If temperatures are too hot during that two-week period in July, much of the harvest can be lost. When the 2019 season threatened to do just that, the experts at MSD were able to show that the 2019 silking period would be cool enough to maintain yield, and they also predicted much more favorable conditions to come during the grain filling stage. These conditions were indeed in place by late September, allowing for a significant recovery in corn yield after a long, worrisome 2019 season.

Human intelligence makes all the difference. Learn more here about how Main Street Data is applying wisdom to data science, to revolutionize the agricultural industry. These valuable insights are critical for all types of users — from insurers and lenders to commodity traders and producers.

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