The SearchLite recently completed an investigation into the technology adoption dynamics of precision farming in the US. The goal of the investigation was to understand the current state-of-the-art and state-of-the-industry relative to farmer adoption of variable rate, big data, GPS, UAV, precision equipment and other areas of technology primarily within the US. The scope of the investigation included eighteen (18) industry expert interviews, secondary research, online discussion forum engagement and final report synthesis and analysis.
Lack of Training & Education – is affecting the rate of precision agriculture technology adoption. While penetration may be higher in some segments such as large farms (i.e. 2,000 +) or younger farmers, a significant number of farmers are still very early in their adoption of precision agricultural practices.
Regulation – will play a bigger role in terms of influencing the direction of the Precision Ag Industry, EPA (NPK run-off), tax deductions and the farm bill.
Application Science (planting process) – may soon exceed bio-science as the core strategic asset within the industry.
“The Internet-of-Things”– big data utilization is becoming ubiquitous across the industry, but many farmers struggle to get meaningful information from their systems as it takes too long to organize data before analysis is done.
The Internet – is causing disintermediation of traditional distribution channels to the farmer. To some degree it is replacing the role historically played by manufacturer’s reps, ag-retail, co-ops and university extension services.
Small seed crops – may be lacking precision agriculture innovation more so than corn, soybeans or other row crops.
UAVs (Drones) – are becoming more commonplace, but still suffer from lack of performance in some regards.
Strategic Alliances – The corporate alliances continue to build momentum as it is clear that strategic alliances are becoming a much more important factor in success than in the past.
Industry Investments in Innovation – Planters / Seeders seem to have attracted the most attention and investment in innovation. Tillage seems to have attracted the lease and continues to have many needs and opportunities.