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The Importance of Productivity in Evaluating Land



Calculating valuable objective crop and field productivity for growers, land buyers, and governments



CIBO Productivity Score

When evaluating a piece of land, an accurate, objective analysis provides critical insight, increasing transparency and lowering the risks associated with purchasing farmland. In turn, this greater degree of certainty can help users make well-informed decisions about purchasing and selling land, setting rents, originating loans, and buying insurance.

Through our intuitive platform, CIBO generates productivity scores that can predict the agricultural productivity of every parcel.

What is productivity?

Productivity measures the ability of a particular field to support crop production under common management practices. At CIBO, we calculate productivity by analyzing complex interactions between weather, soil, and widely accepted land management methods. This data helps farmers and land managers learn how different fields might perform in different agro-ecological conditions when subjected to typical regional farming systems.

Why is it important?

Productivity can fluctuate wildly between fields just a few yards apart, so understanding a field’s current and future productivity is one of the largest distinguishing factors between parcels of farmland. By using our system-based modeling to create our own productivity index, we can assign scores to every parcel of farmland and predict yield with a high degree of precision.

How is productivity calculated?

CIBO’s proprietary method of calculating productivity scores was developed by an internationally acclaimed team of data scientists, agronomists, and crop modelers. The platform simulates all of the complex interactions within an agricultural ecosystem at scale. It runs millions of potential scenarios in seconds and calculates the granular effects of everything from local soil types and weather events to global weather trends.

This industry-leading research allows us to precisely evaluate the likely impact of different management practices on specific parcels of farmland. Using a holistic approach, we consider the agroecology of a crop on an exact time scale and mimic the physiological response of the parcel to a wide range of environmental factors. In the end, our productivity number reflects the final outcome of daily interactions between the crop and its environment—from planting to maturity.

By refining the management practices of our crop model to minimize differences in performance due to external inputs, our score more accurately distinguishes nearby parcels and better matches grower intuition. The numbers in the score are reasonably spread out between 0 – 100, with the best parcels ranking in the 75-100 range. This V2 update was made on 9th July 2020.

You can learn more about productivity scores from our blog post, A Tale of Two Parcels.

How is the productivity score used?

Gaining transparency into land productivity helps users quantitatively evaluate a parcel’s potential before even setting foot onto the soil. People who can benefit from the accurate productivity measurements CIBO provides include:

  • a grower who wants to know the level of productivity that can be achieved relative to neighboring fields or the surrounding county;
  • a potential investor who wants to locate parcels situated in regions of high productivity/high risk or average productivity/low risk (depending on their risk tolerance), or locate undervalued land for arbitrage; and
  • an investor or farmer who wants to assess whether a piece of land is under- or over-valued based upon productivity.

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