Expansion of Technology in Agriculture Elevates Role of Ag Communicators

October 27, 2016

The big takeaway from attending several recent farm shows was the rapid expansion of technology in agriculture.

Everywhere I looked there was either new equipment technology or a new and better way to capture, store and utilize agronomic data. These new offerings come from both time-tested brands in agriculture as well as start-up ventures.

Since my farm show tour, I’ve been researching the topic of new technology in agriculture and have discovered some interesting things.

Caledonia Research, located in North Oaks, Minnesota, released a study earlier this year of 300 large-acreage farmers who have adopted various technologies. Some interesting findings from this research:

  • The number of technologies employed by these farmers increased by 28 percent in the last three years.
  • In the next three years, these producers anticipate adoption of both equipment and data technologies to grow by 45 percent.
  • Economics is the driving force in embracing new technologies, with the focus on reducing production costs and increasing yields and productivity.
  • Producers currently using some new technologies report 11 percent improved corn yields and 9 percent reduction in input costs.
  • In the next three years, the most rapidly adopted technologies will be predictive nitrogen tools, UAVs/aerial imagery and wireless weather stations.

Indeed, these are interesting times for agriculture. Likewise, these are exciting times for those of us employed in agricultural communications.

As more and more new technology comes into the marketplace, ag producers have to be somewhat overwhelmed and bewildered by it all. How does one option differ from another? What option best fits my needs? What support is available to help me understand all of this? What bottom line benefits can I expect? Who can I trust with all this data?

Providing answers to these questions is the challenge all of us in agri-marketing face today. The marketers of these exciting new technologies who can concisely and consistently communicate benefits to producers will be the big winners.

Translating complex technology into clear, memorable messaging is the new challenge and opportunity for today’s ag communicators.

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