As I made a West Coast swing this spring to visit companies including The Climate Corp. and Planet Labs, there was a palpable sense of – wow, the sky really now is the limit for precision agriculture.
Or should I say … for the digitization of agriculture?
Two decades ago I was a privileged witness to the birth – or at least the toddling years – of precision farming. But even then, dazzled as we were by sophisticated circuitry and big iron, we could not have envisioned what the widespread use of the Internet, cellphones, Wi-Fi, tablets, field sensors, disposable satellites, and ridiculous amounts of overall computing power in the early 21st century would put in the hands of farmers: deep understanding of what’s going on in their fields; data science from Silicon Valley to predict yield-robbing developments; and sophisticated prescription tools to make continual course corrections in-season and year to year. All of this and more can now be found in tidy platforms including Climate’s FieldView and Wilbur-Ellis’ AgVerdict.
Make no mistake, though, far more than in-field agronomy is in play here now. Growers can tighten down even further on on-farm productivity and will intensively manage increasingly fought-over resources including water and plant nutrients. Ag retailers will spend less time futzing with temperamental electronics and more on value-added total crop-planning meetings as the trusted technological and agronomic advisors to growers. Breeders will use reams of as-planted and as-harvested data to develop even better performing hybrids and varieties. Manufacturers of sophisticated equipment, crop protection chemicals, and emerging crop inputs like biopesticides and biostimulants will quantitatively measure and be able to prove the value of their wares. And the global food community overall will find that answering the call among consumers, food companies, regulatory agencies, and others for traceability, sustainability – in short, accountability – has become far more tenable than perhaps previously thought or argued.
Until now the various components of precision agriculture were a little like continents separated by hard-to-navigate oceans. But with the digitization of agriculture allowing these continents to talk with one another, something of a “Pangea” of data-driven agriculture is rearing into view. And if you’re a senior executive charged with helping to chart the next two or three years of an agricultural, supplier, food, allied, or policy organization, here are six very important reasons why you’ll want to join us at Meister Media Worldwide as we host the premiere PrecisionAg Vision Conference, October 18-20 in Phoenix, AZ.
- If you know where the industry is going, you’ll know where YOUR organization is going. No one can be caught flat-footed these days and survive; the world just moves too fast, and too often you can never catch up. Join us in Arizona to get a holistic sense of what’s afoot and what’s coming. Consider where you and your organization are likely to fit (or not). React accordingly.
- Line up allies and potential partners that you’re not likely to run into in other venues. Senior executives like you whose job is to stay one step ahead of the game, amass the best thinking among your peers (and competitors) and contemporaries in other industries, and have that phone call or email answered when it’s time to reach out. They say politics makes for strange bedfellows, but so do tumultuous times. A partner or ally tomorrow may be someone you haven’t talked to – or even thought of – today.
- Reach passably-expert status on complex technologies in just a handful of days. Sure, you have in-house technicians on data and precision technologies who stay under the hood and make the high-tech engines run. But do you really fundamentally understand the overarching utility and value of these technologies and how they best can be harnessed to move your – and your customers’ – business agenda forward? You’ll leave Phoenix with a far greater understanding of how the technological pieces work and fit together.
- Get above the “white noise.” We’re crafting a conference agenda that maps the current world of precision technology, but we’ll also free you up for meals, networking receptions, and Vision Roundtables where you can go as deep as you like or take the conversation to the highest altitude possible. Our days together will be about action, not hype.
- Rev the engine for 2017. We’ve intentionally scheduled the Conference for mid-October, just as the 2016 production season is winding down and the grade to 2017 begins to rise. Enriched by new perspectives and fortified by confidence in the future (and also, incidentally, warmed by the autumn sun of the Sonoran Desert), you’ll return home ready and raring for the future to start now.
- Participate in shaping the future of precision and the digitization of agriculture. Sound preposterous? It’s not. From what we anticipate will be an unprecedented precision-focused massing of many of the best minds from the realms of agriculture, food, academia, policymaking, tech, and financial will emerge a robust dialogue that will help to accelerate the promise of technology-driven agriculture.
It’s an event that could be looked back on as a watershed event in the digitization of agriculture. We look forward to seeing you in Arizona in October.
For more information, visit www.precisionagvision.com.