Benchmarking begins with a conversation between an AB InBev agronomist and a grower to gather information regarding the grower’s field-by-field barley production and performance. This information is uploaded to www.smartbarley.com, where growers can then access over 40 crop performance metrics for each field using a unique login and password. Growers can anonymously benchmark their fields against other growers through a selection of metrics that represent their field productivity, input use efficiency and crop management practices. Given the global reach of the program, the dashboard is available in multiple languages and the units for each field metric are adjustable to match the grower’s preference.
Growers can generate reports from the dashboard to document their results and review with their AB InBev agronomist.
The graph above comparing fertilizer use to yield is an example of a benchmarking metric. The blue dot represents Grower A, where they have selected in the dashboard to benchmark themselves to other irrigated growers in their region. Grower A's field performed relatively well compared to their peers, but Grower B set the benchmark, using less fertilizer while obtaining a higher yield. With this information in hand, the conversation between Grower A and their AB InBev agronomist will focus on the practices or technologies that can be implemented to reach the same outcome as Grower B – applying less fertilizer while achieving a higher yield to increase field profitability and lessen the environmental impact.