Initiate the Ag Tech Conversation With Farmers
As you know, farmers are most receptive to trying new things when they can see improved ROI potential. Here are some strategies I’ve found successful when having conversations with farmers about implementing new technologies.
Answer “What’s in It for Me?”
The focus of the conversation needs to be on profitability. The biggest barrier to tech adoption is when a farmer can’t see the direct benefit to his or her operation. In some cases, we can use the data they already have, or we can introduce new pieces of technology, such as crop modeling or in-season imagery, to help them see how technology can enhance the decisions they’re making.
Nitrogen application is a good example. Implementing a crop modeling tool can help farmers understand the most appropriate timing and rates for nitrogen applications, which ultimately optimize yield and ROI potential.
Know Your Audience
The most successful meetings I’ve experienced are segmented roundtable discussions. Gathering farmers into groups such as New to Ag Tech, Interested in Ag Tech and Currently Implementing makes the discussion more approachable for everyone involved.
It was eye-opening for me when I met a farmer during a roundtable discussion who wasn’t using a lot of technology on his operation but was eager to learn. After the discussion, he went out and bought a planter to implement variable-rate seeding. He was able to see the benefit of addressing variability in his fields and how it could improve his profitability, so he made the leap and applied the technology.
The misperceptions about technology are a barrier for many farmers, so framing the conversation in a way that highlights the ROI potential and answers “How will I benefit from this?” before the farmer even asks the question, can go a long way.
This postharvest season is the prime time to talk with your customers about how to best implement ag technology in the year ahead.
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