I know that there is nothing original about a Christmas List this time of year. It’s been done by everybody, and I’m being a bit repetitive by doing it again. But, I think that as a self-proclaimed Ag Nerd, I have a bit of a different perspective on this. So here it goes.
1. A Standard way that you load prescriptions in a monitor. The idea that we will ever get to a data standard in Ag is a long way away. My over under is I retire before it happens. But even if they all want to export data out their own way, wouldn’t it be awesome if the process of loading a prescription was the same on all platforms? I don’t just mean the field itself, but the place it went on your card, the steps on the display to load it, and switching between a manual rate and a prescription. This standardization would single-handily move the adoption of precision ag up 30%-50% in my opinion.
- Sort out ISO. The industry sorts out if ISO is going to be a standard or not, and then proceeds forward. Every major Ag OEM and the aftermarket companies have all dabbled in ISO. For those of you unfamiliar, this is the supposed standard that will let you attach any implement to your tractor and display. The idea is that the implemented interface will look and act the same no matter what the display. In reality, it’s still buggy, loading prescriptions to it is a pain, and OEM’s still want their spin on things, so it doesn’t work perfectly. The industry needs to fish or cut bait on this one.
- Trash sensing row cleaners. Wouldn’t it be great if we could combine the technology that lets our row units sense and adjust downforce automatically with the Precision Planting Clean Sweeps where we can adjust our trash cleaners? If our row cleaners would sense when they need to be down, how much pressure they need to apply, and then coordinate that with the DownForce, it would make for a planter that was truly putting in our crop the way we want, and letting us maximize our Net Effective Stand Percentage.
- Water Management and Usage Understanding. I wish that we all could understand the gravity of the situation ahead of us in water management and usage. This one scares the bejeebers out of me. I am afraid that water and irrigation could split operations apart and change Nebraska Agriculture. I think there’s still time to be proactive about it, but every season that passes is like time counting down on a bomb. We all have to take irrigation more seriously and use our smarts and technology to reduce our water consumption and lower our expenditures while we maintain or increase our profits.
- A look through my eyes. Finally, I wish that you, whether you are a grower, Agronomist, industry rep, or from Academia could see a field through my eyes for one day. When I walk onto a field, I don’t just see the plants growing. I see statistics like the N.E.S.P. I see singulation. But most of all, I see colors. I see the colors of the yield map, the VR planting map, and the VR fertilizer prescriptions, and I am overlaying those in my head to see how they make the story come together. I am always trying to take the data that is in my mind and figure out its correlation to the soil and crop in front of me. If I could do a better job of explaining that to you, I think you would better understand my passion for precision ag, and why I push you so hard to adopt it into your operation.
And so from my wish list, I want you to take this message home today. There are some things that industry needs to do for us, and there are some things that we need to do for ourselves. But any way you slice it, we will go into this next year with ample opportunity to improve and be better than we have ever been before. Have a great Christmas, use this time to reflect on what’s important to you, and we will see you next week!