I have to say that over the last 39 years I would have to think long about where technological advances have moved as rapidly as in agriculture. It is absolutely fantastic and as fast as I can absorb it, I am. What about the growers I work for? What about growers in general. My focus, and that of a lot of my colleagues in the Brookside network, is soil fertilty and management. We have adopted the typical practices such as geo-referenced…everything, VR fertility recommendations, Rx seeding, modeling, sensor technology, #soilhealth scoring etc. However I have found that there are still situations where we need to walk before we run. As much sense as soil analysis makes, there are still easily 30-40% of growers who are not on a regular soil analysis program. So imagine what an agronomist thinks when a grower is interested in variable seeding or nitrogen but has not taken the necessary steps to correct pH issues across his fields? What if certain areas are K deficient, how will his/her VR seeding respond under those conditions. If one is looking at “#BigData” and wants to select different varietes to plant, are the farms fertility levels, physical and biological attributes the same as those represented in that dataset?
In our group of agronomists, for 60 plus years, focus has been about all the factors that impact soil fertility. Physical, Chemical and Biological. These are connected and changing one usually will change another. One focus that is gaining more ground is that of soil health. With the onset of sensors, imagery, and new testing procedures (ie. H3A and carbon burst) we are soon going to have a better grasp on the biological leg of that 3 legged stool. It may answer questions that we dont get from traditional methods. However, as my colleague from Simplified Technology Services continues to point out, if you dont have the basics of agronomy covered, will you effectively benefit from the technology you are putting into practice. As a “trusted advisor” my role is being prepared for every level of tech and agronomics my grower clients want to put into practice. If basics are covered, then this marriage of #agronomy and tech will take farmers to, and keep them where they need to be…profitable, sustainable and environmentally sound. No matter who you are in the ag industry, farmer, agronomist, tech company..etc, visit www.blinc.com