Don’t Underestimate Technology’s Value

  • Nov 13, 2015
Don’t Underestimate Technology’s Value
With the downward trend in market prices, there has been a sudden push to minimize per-acre costs. When determining what to cut, technology is often at the top of the list. Some growers view technology as a luxury for crop production, not a necessity. However, I’d argue that technology might now be more important than ever.
 
Are you playing the short game and asking, “What technology can I cut?” Or are you taking the longer view and asking, “How can I use technology wisely and make it pay off for my operation?”
 
If you use technology in your operation, the sheer amount of data collected by your equipment, seed companies, weather stations and other entities are beginning to play a huge part in many of your daily decisions. Data and technology are here to help make farms more efficient and profitable. The data collected helps you pick the best products for subfield conditions, nutrient plans and seeding rates. We are long past the “blanket” approach for fields.
 
In a down market, technology becomes even more critical for farming operations — not less. The conversation is changing from cost per acre to return on investment, and technology is helping pave the way for this broader perspective. Your agronomist or ag technology specialist can work with you to determine how to optimize your technology investment.
 
When new technologies enter the market, we usually try to make them fit our operations, which can cause failure, confusion and frustration. When investigating whether a technology is right for you, it is better to use those pieces that best fit your needs. In the process, you may find yourself using several programs to create the perfect platform for your operation.
 
A good example of combining the best technology for you is using response-to-nitrogen (RTN) scores from the R7® Tool to gain insight into how a specific hybrid responds to nitrogen, then monitoring in-season nitrogen levels with the Climate FieldView Pro™ Nitrogen Advisor. By doing so, you can optimize your nitrogen applications — applying nitrogen only when the crop needs it and maximizing product performance.
 
The data you collect becomes more important with each season. Technology can provide valuable information to continue to drive targeted placement, sustainability and profitability for your operation for many years to come. Don’t leave it out of your budgeting process. Play the long game.