Agriculture technology is hitting an inflection point where data storage, connectivity, interoperability, affordability, and ease of use are ushering in practical changes for crop production systems.
PrecisionAg® has been monitoring innovation and its impact on the marketplace for the past 25 years, and the most obvious successes thus far have been autosteer and other georeferencing applications. The adoption of other agriculture technologies has been incremental with periods vacillating between rates of higher and lower use. Generally, farmers use more technology when times are good, and they revert to less-expensive means when times are tough, but not all of them drop off completely. They keep parts that make operational sense or provide ROI for their unique environment. That’s why even when adoption ebbs in down cycles, it returns to a higher baseline and sets the foundation for a higher launching point when positive markets return.
Another reality is that technology needs are different for each grower, and it’s difficult to gauge the sophistication of growers with an across-the-board percentage of adoption because each one adopts specific technologies and services based on individual needs. A grower might not utilize variable-rate fertility, for example, because they don’t have variable soils. But they might use sophisticated mapping and imaging to help guide agronomic decisions.
The 2020 VISION Conference, January 14-16 in Seattle, will bring clarity to how precision agriculture technologies are affecting crop production systems in this variable landscape, and how innovation can move the industry closer to solving individual challenges for growers. Technologies that are going to succeed in the next 3-5 years are the systems that can effectively integrate into current systems and solve isolated problems.
MORE BY DAVID FRABOTTA
North America’s preeminent thought-leadership conference for precision agriculture will feature practical panel discussions from leading experts in key topical areas. This year’s theme – “System of Systems” – will delve into pragmatic technology integration for production systems to solve both operational and technological challenges. As in the past 25 years of boom and bust ag cycles, commodity prices and investment might be low right now, but successful companies never stop their investments so they are poised to take advantage of the next upcycle. Now is the most important time to plan to take advantage of the next boom market.
Two days of learning and networking will launch with our kickoff keynote speaker, Dr. Kevin Freiberg. The best-selling author, speaker, and advisor will present Change is a Choice: Take Five Big Steps that Will Help Your Customers Leverage the Promise of Precision Agriculture.
The conference program emphasizes interactive learning and thought-provoking discussion through panel sessions with leading industry and technology experts. Key topical areas include:
- Next steps forward for ag data
- Advances in imagery and practical applications for remote sensing
- Real-time, real-world robotics and automation
- Variable rate crop protection technologies in the field
- Obstacles and opportunities for targeted crop protection application
- Handheld digital decision support
- Emerging agriculture business models and pull-through demand
You’ll also have the opportunity to see how precision gets put into action at the optional pre-conference Tech Talk and Wine Tasting at Washington State-based Chateau Ste. Michelle on Tuesday, Jan. 14. It is one of the largest vineyards in the U.S. and producers world-renowned wines through use of technologies including precision irrigation, field imagery, and vineyard mechanization.
For more details on the full agenda, 20+ speakers profiles, a sample of participating companies, and hotel and registration details, visit www.thevisionconference.com. You can also sign up to receive updates for the latest conference news, and use #VisionConf to follow along in real time.
I look forward to seeing you there!