Burrus wanted to deliver a powerfully simple precision agriculture platform to enable their sales team to make the best possible product and planting rate recommendation in each field. The challenge of delivering this value, as numerous input suppliers have learned the hard way, is that many farmers are concerned about letting the same companies who price their inputs to also manage their yield data. Yield data reflects topline revenue on land that is often handed down for generations and it must not be used to price inputs, since that could marginalize farming profits.
Burrus saw an opportunity to engage MyFarms as an independent third party to store their proprietary research and the field knowledge owned by farmers. This approach solves the farmer's privacy concern, since MyFarms doesn’t sell anything other than technology services, while helping Burrus and their customers find the best genetic, trait, treatment and population combination for each field.
MyFarms started by meeting face-to-face with members of the Burrus management team over lunch. We discussed the type of conversation they encourage their sales team to have with farmers, including a set of questions that help them find the best product fit. Then the MyFarms design team developed detailed mockups of every facet of the product concept so Burrus could weigh in with ideas of their own before we wrote a single line of code. Then we facilitated an in-depth design workshop with a broader set of Burrus stakeholders, including several of their most sophisticated customers and account managers to ensure everyone was comfortable with the solution.
Ten weeks after Burrus approved our coauthored design, the World's first automated method of combining seed company research with farmer-owned field knowledge to find the best genetic, trait, treatment, and population fit for each field was born. That was in December, 2011. Since then we have added variable rate seeding, multi-hybrid planting, weather-driven disease pressure alerts and a web-based training academy to fully onboard the Burrus sales organization.