The Next Level

ReachOut: The Next Level from Central Valley Ag on Vimeo.

by Mike Zwingman

by Mike Zwingman

We’ve had some fields in our ACS program for over fifteen years now. We know them so well that they’ve become like old friends, the kind that you know so well that you can just tell what’s going on, no explanation necessary. It’s a comfortable relationship we have, but a productive one as well. Our understanding of these fields has evolved over the years and our sophistication in dealing with them has increased as we’ve been able to learn their quirks.

But as is probably necessary and effective with any long-term relationship, I think it’s time to spice things up, to reintroduce ourselves, to make it new again. After fifteen plus years, I think it’s time to say that the niceties are over. Fields, we know your favorite color and television show. It’s time to take it to another level.

Which is a challenge, not because it’s difficult to take it up a notch but because it’s difficult to shake old and familiar patterns. This challenge doesn’t mean that anything is going wrong either: quite the contrary, actually. Things are going right, and it’s time to see that there’s much more that can go right if only we’re open to it.

It’s time then, old friends whose fields we’ve gotten to know oh so well, to open the doors. Haven’t tried the Aquasystems platform yet? Well then. Or are just in the basics of the variable rate technologies? Let’s try Variable Rate Nitrogen or Seeding. Or profit mapping? Any of these and more await you on the other side of that proverbial door.

This challenge applies to us at CVA too, particularly those of us on the ACS team. As our knowledge of these fields has increased, our skill set has become more refined and sophisticated. We’ve mastered the original tools handed to us. Now, it’s onto new ones. If a grower is willing to walk through that door to a second honeymoon with their fields, we need to be there too, leading the way into the future.testing-the-soil

Twenty years ago, just about the time some fields were entering our program, no one knew the potential of precision agronomy. I’d posit that even today we don’t really know the potential of it. In my mind, I see no end to the possibilities if only we can overcome the touch of entropy that can set in after some time and keep broadening, keep opening and adding to the playbook.

We all need to step outside. Though we might all be fine with the notion of continuing to do the same old thing, it’s a notion that we should fight. To do the same old thing is a disservice to the growers who trust us, to the land that they trust us with, and to the industry that requires our innovation for its success. Fortunately, innovation is at our fingertips. After a fifteen-plus year relationship with some fields, there are no unknowns. The information is right there, and we can do something with it.Blue-Box-e1409667504172

To the growers who trust us with your fields, I ask you to help us out with this. We have a comfy relationship with your fields—I hope that our relationship with you is as warm and familiar. So take advantage of that. Put the niceties aside and tell us what you want. Share with us the depth of your questions and ideas. Tell us your vision.

And let’s take this to the next level.