What’s Happening in Ag Today: 3 Key Learnings from Tech Hub LIVE
From data security to sustainability to talking about advancements in agbioscience, this year’s Tech Hub LIVE brought together agronomic leaders from across the country to discuss key trends and how they are impacting their industry.
While the show may be over (‘til next time, Indianapolis!), check out three of our key learnings from this year’s Tech Hub LIVE.
Confirmed: Data security matters
Earlier this year, government agencies warned about ransomware attacks during planting and harvest. Unfortunately, their prediction came to light when AGCO’s ransomware attack earlier this season brought tractor sales to a standstill.
The concern for data security didn’t start just this year – it’s been on the radar for many for several years. At this year’s Tech Hub LIVE, it was as key source of conversation, particularly as it was noted that IT budgets tend to be miniscule for ag retailers and co-ops.
Data security was a topic of conversation at Tech Hub LIVE, and one that will continue as it becomes a bigger priority for the agricultural industry, particularly as agtech adoption becomes more standard across operations.
AgTech Will Shine Next
The agricultural industry has been in a state of transformation for several years. Many say that we are in the midst of the fourth agricultural revolution due to the significant changes that are taking hold in the industry.
And, it’s not without benefit. Key advancements like hybrid seed, synthetic fertilizer, and other crops have started to move the needle on the U.S.’s crop yield.
What comes next? According to Scott Speck, product marketing manager for Climate LLC, it’s AgTech.
The Crop Life Precision Dealer Survey was released at Tech Hub LIVE and it highlights a few important aspects about AgTech adoption.
Inflation and price increases, supply chain challenges, and labor shortages are significantly impacting the industry, and for many dealers, it’s an inflection point to adopt technology to mitigate the impact that these issues have on their day-to-day operations. As such, this year will be a huge turning point for precision agriculture technology solutions.
Let’s dig into a topic that’s near and dear to us: Using satellite or aerial imagery to make key decisions about crop inputs and management. Eight years ago, only one percent of dealers offered satellite or aerial imagery, which has grown to more than half using drone imagery and two-thirds of dealers relying on satellite imagery. This has plateaued over the past few years. However, advancements in recent years have made it easier to adopt this technology, as well as understand the value that it provides at the field’s edge.
In line with this, it’s important to point out that it’s more than just pulling forth extensive analytics and insights. Today’s farm generates 500,000 data points in a given day – yes, a half a million data points! Delivering this level of data (or even contributing to the generation of more) doesn’t provide any support to moving the industry forward. That being said, for AgTech to truly be effective in agriculture, it comes down to delivering quality data while helping agricultural leaders identify where to focus.
The Technology Balance
Speaking of agtech, finding ways to leverage tech to support scouting continues to be a hot topic. Using aerial imagery, tech transforms how to capture data – resulting in real-time visibility across all acres.
Easier data collection saves time and resources; and for many, opens the door to validate outcomes right at the field’s edge. But as more people are adopting a technology-led scouting strategy, it doesn’t mean that traditional methods are going to the wayside.
In fact, what we heard at Tech Hub LIVE is that many are taking a hybrid approach – leveraging drones and sensors to capture data that uncovers key areas to focus, which helps to focus boots-on-the-ground where it matters most. It unlocks the best of both worlds to optimize outcomes and crop performance.
Beyond those key topics, there were many more discussions related back to bigger trends in the industry, like supply chain bottlenecks, increasing costs, and of course, the troubling weather for this growing season.
While there may be numerous challenges facing the industry today, agronomic and agbioscience leaders are better poised than anyone to tackle what’s coming and transform the future of agriculture.
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