Don’t worry, it’s not an exotic variant of COVID-19. It’s a matter of Intellectual Property. As Wikipedia defines it so nicely: “Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect.” Put simply: your thoughts/ideas/knowledge have an owner, and that’s you.
The knowledge of cultivating, which you have been investing in for years and kept developing steadily, is your own. So you can also look at it as your IP. You have green knowledge, you have the famous “green thumb,” but sadly, you are threatened with extinction. All over the world we are seeing a growing demand for green knowledge, while the supply keeps shrinking. Hence, this is one of the driving forces behind the trend towards data-driven and autonomous growing.
Your IP protection was always taken care of “naturally" by the simple fact that your knowledge was sealed up tightly in your head. Now that it’s increasingly recorded in systems and data, it is also becoming more important to think about protecting your IP. Because, in addition to having a whole lot of generalized “green knowledge,” you probably also know a lot of unique “tricks of the trade” that make your approach to growing just a bit different from that of your colleague or competitor.
So when you get started with data-driven growing and related systems, it is important to look critically at data and its ownership. A company or person that may have good intentions calls out: “Come here with your data,” or maybe even “Come here with your unique knowledge!” That’s why it is important to look critically at this. What happens to your data? Who owns the data? Will the data be shared with third parties? These are just some points to think about. This type of information should be included in the terms and conditions of such a system or service. So read these carefully before you agree to them.
I can also fully understand if you are thinking: then I won’t do data-driven and autonomous growing! However, I’m afraid that this is not a sustainable strategy for you. Data-driven growing is the way of the future, and the systems, data, and knowledge developed will help you in the long run. What you need to do today in particular, though, is to think carefully where your data will be in good hands.