This rapid advancement has been very hard to keep up with, both mentally and financially. For every success story in precision ag, I hear an accompanying horror story. The path to adopting precision ag can be both frustrating and rewarding. Without a doubt, the tools are getting better, but it is still important to use caution when considering investments in ag technology. Here are a few things to consider:
- What is the track record of the product? No matter what, it is important to ask how any product has performed during testing or deployment in the field. It is even better to get some references that can be consulted prior to purchase. With new products this can be tough, but there should be some proof available to suggest the product performs as promised.
- What problem does the product solve? I have seen several technology offerings that are simply distractions. Let’s face it, there are a lot of neat things available and while the “cool factor” is indeed something to consider, technology is an investment. It has to improve yield, efficiency, and/or profit to be considered an investment.
- Is the supplier/provider a good partner? Technology companies have come and gone. It seems like every day there is a new player entering the ag technology market. Trust and stability are still excellent qualities. Everyone has problems from time to time, but not everyone has solutions. Make sure you can get help when you need it.
Director of Industry Relations
Andy has spent more than 27 years involved in the irrigation industry as a farmer, contractor, designer, salesman, and trade representative. At Valley, he manages strategic relationships for mechanized irrigation technology across a broad range of applications. Andy lives in northern Michigan with his wife, Kim, and his daughter, Madison, and enjoys a variety of outdoor activities.