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Could Big Data in Farming Be Called "Agroball" ??

Just like Major League Baseball, farmers can improve the bottom line by using statistics. That's according to a speaker at this week's Farmer 2 Farmer conference in Bettendorf. Today's lunch speaker was Bill James, an author, analyst, and founder of sabermetrics, in other words, moneyball.

James told a crowd of about 700 farmers that they can learn how to make more money from their land and labor by examining data and asking different questions.

Farmers Business Network is hosting the conference. It's a one-year-old company based in Silicon Valley in California. But it has several other offices, including a data center in Davenport with eight to ten employees.

Company spokesman KelbyKleinsassersays farmers pay $500 a year to be members of the Farmer's Business Network. In return, it collects data from their farms and combines it with data from other members.

The business concept is like crowd-sourcing, it's a platform for data. We work with farmers by providing data from millions of acres. And farmers benefit by having access to that anonymized data set.

The Farmer 2 Farmer conference continues tomorrow and includes a John Deere tour at noon.

Officially, Michelle's title is WVIK News Editor. She does everything there is to do in the newsroom and whatever may be needed around the radio station.
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