If You Want A Car That Can Drive Itself

ReachOut: If You Want A Car That Can Drive Itself from Central Valley Ag on Vimeo.


by Mike Zwingman

by Mike Zwingman

There’s a commercial on TV right now that kind of drives me nuts, but makes a salient point. A guy sits in a car while the voice over says something like, “If you want a car that can drive itself…This isn’t your car.” And the dude takes off, driving like a NASCAR driver down a wet highway.

What’s the salient point? If you want a car that can drive itself, agriculture isn’t your industry.

Sure, we’ve got engineers developing satellite guided planters and combines, and sure we’re adopting super cool technology in almost every aspect of our industry, but our operations will never drive themselves. If you’re the kind of person who likes the idea of autopilot, I’m guessing that you’re a computer programmer instead of a grower.

Whatever technology we develop and adopt, our industry is founded on a living thing: our crop. It makes our role of grower more akin to that of a parent rather than engineer, or programmer, or mechanic, etc. For you parents, you know very well that parenting is more than just a science—it’s an art. Kids are unpredictable and sensitive. They are always changing in response to their environments, very unlike machines. It’s what makes them exciting.

Our crops aren’t so different. They can be unpredictable and are always sensitive. They change constantly in response to their environment. They are very much living things, which in my opinion is exactly what makes being a grower so fulfilling and so frustrating.

Anyhow, my main point here is that we can’t just put a corn seed into the ground and watch it grow into a superb corn plant without our help and guidance. It’s not on autopilot (though hybrid science gets us closer every year it seems), just like your kids.


Right now, our corn plants are entering their reproductive stages, a time of pretty tremendous turmoil for them. (Think about your kid as a teenager—that’s the kind of turmoil I’m talking about here.) Just as your kids require the most guidance and TLC from you during the most tumultuous times in their lives, so does your corn. So, proud moms and dads of your hundreds of thousands of corn plants, it’s time to step to the plate.

How to do so? A V5 Plant Health Treatment (PHT). Corn plants in the V4-V6 growth stages are doing all sorts of crazy important things like beginning tassel development, establishing their nodal root system, and beginning rapid stalk elongation. They’re also determining things like ear girth. See why they need some support?

Blue-Box-e1409667504172A V5 PHT supports your plants on many fronts. The fungicide portion of the treatment will help protect the roots and stalks your plants are working so hard right now to develop. The plant growth regulator portion of the treatment will support root and leaf development and spur cell division and elongation to support a greater total kernel number during future ear development stages. Lastly (but not least!) the micronutrient portion of the treatment will help to alleviate any stresses to your plants due to nutrient deficiencies, allowing your plants to put all of their energy into optimal growth and development.

How incredibly boring would our jobs be if our plants didn’t need our help? Maybe in some of our over-busy moments, that’s a little dream we dream, but you, friend, are not a software engineer. You, friend, are a steward of a living thing that is, if sometimes a little needy, complex, a living thing that is rewarding, a living thing that is necessary for life. You, friend, are a grower.

And right now, your plants need you.