Staying on top of the latest technology for agriculture is vital to an operation’s success. Precision Risk Management is here to help Keep You in the Know about the latest technology and what applications it can mean for you.

PRM sent our lead Data Specialist, Adam Squires, to TechHub Live in Des Moines to investigate what the future had in store for agriculture technology and what are still the big challenges. Here are his key takeaways:

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AUTONOMOUS FARMING

There has been some chatter around autonomous farming lately. After listening to many panel discussions and doing some one-on-one digging, many of the equipment and tech companies feel total autonomy is still down the road. It seems to me that in the near term they are focused more on automating the functions of a field pass. Things such as improving automated planter functions before ditching the operator altogether. PRM knows this is a topic that has a lot of interest, and we will keep everyone informed as we find out more.

MAKE THE SYSTEMS WORK TOGETHER

I heard a lot of buzz words floating around the conference, but the one that stood out to me was interoperability. Many of the companies represented there used it in conversations and panels. I would hope this means that the industry is striving towards cooperation and sharing when it comes to growers’ data.  While I heard a lot of buzz around inoperability, I did not hear a ton of proposed solutions. But recognizing the problem is the first step to solving it.

Many operations have a mixed fleet or use multiple software systems to analyze data as well as using that data to make in-season decisions and then implement those decisions into something useable. The more systems and platforms we can get speaking the same language if you will, the easier it should become for growers to use the data they’ve been collecting for something that can push their operation forward. While I did not hear a lot of solutions being discussed at the conference, I do know of many companies working on the issue. For example, MyJohnDeere has been working hard to with linking up with outside systems.

TECHNOLOGY IMPLEMENTATION AT THE EXPENSE OF TIME

We also heard from a panel of growers who have been and continue to be on the leading edge of implementing technology into their operations. They talked about how vital the new technology has been to their success. They continue to be open to new ideas and solutions that may improve their practices. However, time continues to be one of everyone’s most precious commodities.

There needs to be a balance between being respectful of schedules and still taking the time to introduce a solution that may save more time down the road. This can be a bit of a conundrum. I believe the growers who continue to think outside the box when it comes to their current and potential practices will keep leading the charge. The tech companies need to bring solutions to growers that will make the investment in capital and time obviously worth it. The most innovative technology does growers produces no benefit if no one adopts it.

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Adam Squires is the lead Data Specialist for Precision Risk Management. From on-farm precision technology set-up to backend data crunching, Adam is all things farm tech guru.

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