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Wrangler Takes Big Data to Farms for Greater Cotton Sustainability

Wrangler is bringing big data to the farm.

A new report published Wednesday by Wrangler and farm-management software company MyFarms, details how field-level sustainability data can be used to strengthen business relationships and results in agricultural supply chains. To help kick things off, Wrangler said it will offer 125 MyFarms subscriptions to U.S. cotton growers.

MyFarms is cloud-based software that helps growers make crop-management decisions by anonymously comparing their performance with their peers in areas such as erosion rate and energy-use efficiency. The subscriptions are intended to make it easier for cotton farmers to measure and report their sustainability data.

“From Burden to Benefit: Sustainability Data in the Agricultural Supply Chain,” the second paper in the Wrangler Science & Conservation series, shares best practices for protecting data privacy and leveraging analysis to advance common goals shared by growers, brands and other links in the supply chain. The paper draws on Wrangler’s experience in the cotton supply chain as a denim manufacturer to share relevant information it has garnered with other food and fiber industries. This includes ways to build trust with growers and how to align the business interests of different links in the supply chain.

“Farmers work diligently to bring a cotton crop to harvest each year and their challenges are many,” Roian Atwood, sustainability director for Wrangler, said. “As an apparel manufacturer, Wrangler wants to improve the environmental performance of our products. But to ask growers to make an additional effort to track and share farm-level data, we need to try to create something of value for them in return. That’s what we’re attempting to do with the MyFarms software.”

Additional features in the softwear include automated calculators to save growers time in determining how much seed, fertilizer and spray to purchase for their fields, as well as hourly rainfall and wind speed data, and precision agriculture map analysis.

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“The MyFarms platform was built by farmers for farmers to make their jobs easier and more profitable,” MyFarms founder and managing director Chris Fennig said. “In funding the expansion of our data exchange to cotton growers, Wrangler has effectively gifted the industry with a powerful foundation for tracking and measuring both environmental outcomes and financial benefits.”

Wrangler, a division of VF Corp., funded the development of the cotton-grower interface on MyFarms, including a feature that will make it quicker and easier for cotton growers to measure their sustainability performance and operational efficiency. Wrangler and MyFarms are both members of Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, a diverse coalition that focuses on defining, measuring and advancing the sustainability of food, fiber and fuel production.

The 125 MyFarms subscriptions will be available for the 2018 harvest season to cotton growers involved with several U.S. cotton initiatives, including e3 growers, Better Cotton Initiative (USA) and the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation.

“We’re excited to see the results of this software integration, particularly the support for cotton farmers through a seamless solution to measure the sustainability performance and efficiency of their operations by harnessing the sustainability metrics of the Fieldprint Platform,” Rod Snyder, president of Field to Market, said. “Wrangler understands how important it is to reduce the reporting burden for farmers, and in the process they could be creating a wealth of new knowledge and opportunities for the entire supply chain.”