• Oct 09, 2017

The Future Is Now. Seriously.

I am always amazed at how much ag technology has evolved through the years and how it continues to advance so quickly. One experience that really brings this home for me is the annual InfoAg Conference.
InfoAg is billed as “the premier event for discussion and advancement of precision agriculture.” It draws presenters and attendees from across the country and around the world. When I started attending InfoAg five years ago, the focus was almost exclusively on hardware, particularly drones, and dreams of what the ag tech space could be. Recently, in-season imagery and other decision-making tools have been the hot topics.
At this year’s conference this summer, there was an emphasis on mergers and what partners are doing together in the ag technology space. But there were also a number of conversations about what we in the industry can do with insights gleaned from ag technology tools.
In fact, the industry has shifted from being a hardware supplier to an insights provider.
The inside scoop on insights
Companies are realizing the value of serving as more of a “counselor” than simply selling a piece of equipment that houses GPS capabilities. They are rolling out decision-making tools that dig deeper, peel back more layers and uncover more insights faster.
Witness the R7® Tool by WinField United and its offshoots, including the CHT Tool, Profitability Map, Field Monitoring Tool and Field Forecasting Tool — all designed to work harmoniously to give you more data, more insights and more ROI potential. Of course, there is nothing wrong with giving the basics a technology upgrade. For example, the NutriSolutions 360® system uses tried-and-true soil and tissue sampling, but takes them much further to generate hyperlocal plant nutrition insights.
Getting info fast
As with every aspect of technology, speed is critical. How soon can you act on the insights gleaned from a particular technology program? How can technology help improve in-season decision making? The Field Forecasting Tool in particular is a great example of a technology solution that generates in-season insights by leveraging a comprehensive data set.
Always asking “What’s next?”
Precision agriculture is less about providing prescriptions and postharvest evaluations than it is about diving deeper to constantly help you get smarter. It’s not about making technology more difficult; simplicity and user experience are also important.
If you haven’t already, talk to your retailer or WinField United technology representative about incorporating new decision-making tools into your operation. It’s the wave of the future. And it’s here.