As the 2012 calendar year begins with farm shows, meetings, and conferences we all look forward to another growing season. Here’s my look forward with five segments of the Precision Ag industry I think experience tremendous growth in 2012.
My simple definition of telematics: combining communications and location, with or without some kind of control over a remote object. All the major players are jumping on board, and those already there are adding bells and whistles. Just like UPS says, its the logistics!
Data will take over in 2012, or at least I hope it will. Many farmers have been collecting data (yield maps, seeding maps, etc.), but maybe not worrying much about accuracy of the data or doing anything with it after collection. Look for a big push here, some of which may be driven by near-future government regulations. I’ll also add I hope it all goes to the “cloud” soon (future post with more on that soon).
This one kind of goes with data, but deserves a separate mention. Electronic documentation will be the future, like it or not. I wish all producers would document every activity possible on their farm. Might as well start now.
- Advanced Product Application
I know there’s a decent amount of producers out there using prescriptions already, but I also think we’ll see this pick up a lot more. Many have prescription capability, but don’t utilize it. Don’t forget prescriptions can be used with more than just seed! N-Sensing solutions and other advanced sensors in the works will grow this market quickly. Again, this one ties in with data and documentation too.
- Precision Ag 2.0?
Technology tends to grow in leaps a bounds, and I think Precision Agriculture is akin to that kind of growth. I think we’re seeing a new frontier being broken with all kinds of breakthrough innovations. Apps for smartphones and tablets, Wireless data transfer, grain carts that operate themselves, remote display access / support, etc., etc… These are all things many have had on their wish list, but the necessary technology or infrastructure simply has not existed until now. With 3G/4G internet coming coming to (or already at) rural areas and advanced software / hardware I think the sky’s the limit here.
Note: I’m planning a separate post on technology I think will affect Agriculture in 2012 (that’s not necessarily considered Precision Ag now) soon.
Something you didn’t see get a mention here that you feel should have? Feel free to post in the comments!