Did you realize that agriculture is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?
That question may have you shaking your head in complete disbelief. However, there are people and companies out there that think just that. Ever since Monsanto bought Climate Corp. for nearly ONE BILLION DOLLARS, every venture capitalist investment firm or Silicon Valley startup company has been trying to replicate what happened with Climate Corp.
Since that time, the ag industry has seen the rise of the drone phenomenon, the increase in farm management cloud solutions, and the black box one solution fits all madness. Many of these technologies are being pushed as alternate solutions to having boots on the ground and local recommendations. The ones that are supposed to be aides to your agronomist are often too expensive to be paired with an agronomic service.
As you begin to see or read more about these companies, it is important to think of their long-term viability and the role you want them to play on your farm. Also, be aware of what their underlying motivations might be. Some retail companies are pushing their online platforms as a one stop shop for precision ag and data management services.
What is their motivation for doing this?
As growers continue to adopt more variable rate technology (VRT), the amount of inputs growers apply to their fields has the potential to decrease. Therefore, reducing a retailer’s bottom line. Getting access to your data and making variable rate prescriptions is one way retailers can obtain a strategic advantage over competitors. This also provides a way to monitor and influence the amount of inputs being applied to fields.
Venture capital backed companies have had billions of dollars invested in them over the last several years. As a farm owner, you make investments every year. It’s likely you expect a return on those investments, and if not, you stop putting money into them.
Keep that mindset when thinking of companies that have had hundreds of millions of dollars invested in them. Based on the ag economy and how markets are currently trending, do you see hundreds of millions of dollars in returns coming in the next several years? How long are these types of companies going to be able to stick around once their investors stop pouring money into them?
It takes a large investment of time and money to get your data organized and uploaded and then to learn a new program. Precision ag and data management are the way of the future. Equipment manufacturers have embraced it, retailers have embraced it, and growers that are early adopters have embraced it.
Whether it’s your generation or the next implementing precision ag technologies, be sure it’s bringing value to your farm. And keep in mind pairing sound agronomy and precision ag is one sure way of getting a return.
If you are looking for hype or black box solutions to production issues, you won’t find it at Crop Quest.
If you are looking to build a precision ag program around solid agronomy and hard work, Crop Quest can help you.