Are Precision Agriculture Professionals Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

Are-you-smarter-than-a-5th-graderWe all remember that TV trivia show with good ole Jeff Foxworthy, right? He’d ask an average adult 5th grade level questions while also seeing if a few select 5th graders themselves could outsmart them. It made great TV and also made adults question whether they actually had any smarts themselves anymore. I was thinking of this the other day and, using the same premise, asked myself  “Is the precision agriculture industry smarter than the understanding and thought process of a 10- to 11-year old child?” Let me elaborate…

I’m not trying to say the agtech/precision ag industry is behind or not smart, but I want to put it in perspective to what that show actually showcased in my opinion. Sure, some adults didn’t remember basic geography or science facts that were taught when they were younger. For example, the capital of Egypt…. Cairo, or the first element on the periodic table…Hydrogen. Most of these kids were used to the type of questions that adults more or less didn’t think of anymore in their day-to-day lives. Of course, did the kids actually understand why Hydrogen is the first element and how it came to be and how it is used, or the rich history and human evolution surrounding Cairo in Egypt? Likely not. As well as many adults, the kids maybe couldn’t comprehend all of the other pieces to the puzzle.

Does the precision ag industry and the many people, groups, and companies involved in agriculture really take an understanding to what the technology they are selling or promoting does to the industry of agriculture itself? I would say many do but also many do not. This is a very large issue and one that I hear more and more concerns about, especially from veteran agronomists and precision ag specialists.

I think we are at a tipping point in precision ag — one that reflects how technology will solve all the answers, while many know that it’s not the only answer. You may know the answer to the question, but do you really understand why that answer is right or wrong? Does the precision ag industry understand the impact it is making with business decisions and even family decisions? Do we fully know how changing rates to certain areas affect the biology and sustainability of the system and environment it impacts? Do we feel the changes it makes to lifelong workers in ag and how that affects their job and families? My role here is not to answer those questions for you but for you to think of how technology will actually impact not only your position in ag, but others as well.

No one really knows how technology will eventually impact every inch of agriculture and they shouldn’t. It shouldn’t be necessarily assumed or be denied to evolve into something else. I recommend looking past what you are told technology can do, and see how it affects your business positively and negatively while understanding the history of why that technology is there in the first place.

My gripe may be the constant talk about how any product in precision ag will let you be more efficient or help you change rates and save money or increase yield and add more money to your bottom line. While sure the answer is yes, that ag technology can do those things, but do you understand how each one of those promises came to be and how it actually works agronomically and financially? Are we smarter than just the basic answers ag technology seems to answer? To an extent we are there, but it has been a struggle and we are far from understanding the full aspects of the impact of these advancements in ag and still have a long way to go.

I implore you to think about this more and not only just promote a singular idea in how precision ag affects the everyday decisions growers and trusted advisors make, but how it affects outsiders and understand the history of why this tech even exists. The more you understand these things the better you can serve the end goal and have those honest conversations that everyone really wants in agriculture. No more bull or hype but a real understanding of what that technology brings, where it comes from, what it can do, and how it actually affects things. It isn’t that hard.

All in all, be smarter than a 5th grader.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Are Precision Agriculture Professionals Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

  1. I work in Precision Ag and let me tell you from what I hear from growers…….there are a lot of so called professionals out there that are just salesmen. For some of them its more about the sale that what is the right product for the grower. Just sayin…..

Service Providers Stories
Digital-Farming
Business Management7 Factors That Could Make or Break Digital Farming
April 13, 2018
Digital farming is the new technology genie – a genie that is now out of the bottle and cannot be Read More
SDSU-drone
Business ManagementInside the Key Strategies For Selling Precision Ag Services
April 13, 2018
In its earliest manifestation, the motive for developing precision agriculture service was entirely pure. Agronomists knew that crops were responding Read More
aggateway
Business ManagementAgGateway Encourages Use of Standard Identifiers with AGIIS Subscription Promotion
April 11, 2018
AgGateway, the non-profit organization with the mission to promote and enable the industry’s transition to digital agriculture, is offering a Read More
Data ManagementREPORT: Bayer’s Digital Farming Business Slated for BASF Takeover
April 11, 2018
Germany’s Bayer plans to sell its digital farming business to BASF as part of changes to concessions it has offered Read More
Trending Articles
Farm-Storm-Clouds-Photo-Eden-Hills
Data ManagementThe Precipitation Problem in Agriculture
April 17, 2018
Precipitation is arguably the most important agricultural weather parameter, yet it is the most difficult variable to precisely measure. For Read More
SDSU-drone
Business ManagementInside the Key Strategies For Selling Precision Ag Services
April 13, 2018
In its earliest manifestation, the motive for developing precision agriculture service was entirely pure. Agronomists knew that crops were responding Read More
CROO Robotics’ automated strawberry harvester
Robotics/Labor SaversSpecialty Crops: Get in Gear Now for Agriculture’s Robotic Revolution
April 11, 2018
While the immigration debate rages on in Washington, DC, with little chance for reform in sight, the uncertain labor picture Read More
InSiteDCM
Business ManagementDelivering on Ag Data Value
April 3, 2018
Bruce Baier is another deeply experienced precision agriculture manager who survived the early years of ag technology while riding the Read More
University-of-Georgia-photo-credit-USDA
Business Management25 Best Colleges for Precision Agriculture
March 21, 2018
Choosing the right college is a process. It’s one that I’m just now embarking on with my teenage daughter. Long Read More
Farmer-tablet
Decision Support SoftwareOpinion: The Missing Link in Precision Agriculture
March 15, 2018
The agtech boom over the last two years is indeed astonishing. Farmers are becoming more open to new, emerging technologies Read More
Latest News
Finalists-teams-Syngenta-Crop-Challenge-in-Analytics
Data ManagementData-Driven Strategies and Machine Learning Shaping the…
April 26, 2018
Last week I attended the 2018 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research in Baltimore, MD. Among the activities Read More
Sentera-FieldAgent
Industry NewsSentera, The Climate Corp. Partner to Enhance Agronomic…
April 24, 2018
Climate FieldView customers can now enjoy seamless integration of Sentera FieldAgent on-field sensor and analytics products with FieldView, as well Read More
Field Sprayer
Sensors/IoTHere’s What’s Working with the Internet of Things ̷…
April 24, 2018
With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), we are now seeing farmers use more wireless technologies to increase Read More
Case-Header-2
Industry NewsAustralian Company Offers On Combine Analysis Technolog…
April 24, 2018
Next Instruments is an Australian manufacturer of instrumentation for the grains and food industries. Over the last 5 years Next Read More
corn field
Industry NewsNutrient Ag Solutions Launching New Digital Farming Pla…
April 24, 2018
Nutrien’s retail division – soon to be rebranded as Nutrien Ag Solutions – has announced the launch of a new Read More
Industry NewsClimate Corp Announces 5 New FieldView Integrations
April 23, 2018
The Climate Corporation announced the addition of five industry-leading partners to The Climate Corporation’s Climate FieldView digital agriculture platform. The Read More
Laura_Crook_WinterWheat_Blackgrass_PrecisionAg
Industry NewsKansas Software Outfit Ag Developer Announces agX Integ…
April 23, 2018
Ag Developer, a Kansas based software development company, is simplifying grower/advisor communications by connecting to the agX Platform, according to Read More
field_in_back_1000_wd-featured-image
Industry NewsAyrstone Introduces High-Speed WiFi System for Farms
April 20, 2018
WiFi has become a necessity, and a proliferation of new WiFi devices have come to market for urban homes and Read More
Indian-Agriculture
AsiaIndian IoT Platform for Pre and Post Harvest Raises See…
April 19, 2018
Indian startup AgNext has raised an undisclosed seed round led by India-focused Agtech VC Omnivore Partners along with Singaporean angel Read More
Bayer-Forward-Farming
Industry NewsMaryland Farm Opens as Hub of Learning about Sustainabl…
April 19, 2018
Fourth-generation Maryland farmer Trey Hill measures the success of his operation not just by how many bushels of corn, soybeans, Read More
THRIVE
Industry NewsAgritech Startup Backers Announce New Corporate Partner…
April 18, 2018
Entering its fourth year, the THRIVE Venture & Innovation platform announced today the nine finalists and investment in its spring Read More
computer-in-field
EventsFinding Our Way in the Business of Precision Agricultur…
April 17, 2018
Service providers are the essential link between precision agriculture products and practices and the farmers who are increasingly relying on Read More
Farm-Storm-Clouds-Photo-Eden-Hills
Data ManagementThe Precipitation Problem in Agriculture
April 17, 2018
Precipitation is arguably the most important agricultural weather parameter, yet it is the most difficult variable to precisely measure. For Read More
Digital-Farming
Business Management7 Factors That Could Make or Break Digital Farming
April 13, 2018
Digital farming is the new technology genie – a genie that is now out of the bottle and cannot be Read More
SDSU-drone
Business ManagementInside the Key Strategies For Selling Precision Ag Serv…
April 13, 2018
In its earliest manifestation, the motive for developing precision agriculture service was entirely pure. Agronomists knew that crops were responding Read More
Facebook-phone
Data ManagementWhat Lessons Can the Ag Industry Learn from the Faceboo…
April 12, 2018
Today, a seemingly endless amount of ag data flows from growers’ fields into a host of technology platforms. It is Read More
DronesWhen High Value Crops Meet Inaccessible Areas: How Dron…
April 12, 2018
Avocados are one of the few crops in Chile that can economically be commercially cultivated on hills. On one hand Read More
Almond-trees-blooming
Sensors/IoTWhy Virtual Sensors Could Save California’s At-Ri…
April 12, 2018
To say that the Golden State can lay claim to the title of king of almonds might be an understatement. Read More