Ron LeMay: Tech innovation helps farmers add revenue, cut costs

Gary Riekhof and his son Garrett Riekhof at their farm in Higginsville, Mo. in 2011. | Courtesy of Rob Hill/Mizzoumag
Gary Riekhof and his son Garrett Riekhof at their farm in Higginsville, Mo. in 2011. | Courtesy of Rob Hill/Mizzoumag

American farmers have driven incredible progress in agriculture with the successful adoption of new technologies. And yet, current commodity prices and the USDA’s August farm income projections signal continuing pressure on rural economies, making the profitability of U.S. family farms a topic at many dinner tables.

The next wave of innovation necessary to buoy rural economies will not come from improved genetics, machinery technology or agronomics alone. Farmers and agronomists must adopt advanced data science and associated tools to factually validate farm management decisions as well as investments.

In recent years, farmers worldwide have begun using precision farming technologies to improve productivity, including GPS and variable-rate planters. However, these technologies are only as good as the data available to farmers. And while farmers are drowning in data on inputs, they are thirsting for solutions to convert data into better decisions and farm management practices so they can validate results for continuous improvement.

The industry now stands at a tipping point where advancements in data science, connectivity and computing power can revolutionize crop production, farm profitability and food chain sustainability.

Read more from the Kansas City Star


ron-lemayRon LeMay is chairman and CEO of FarmLink.


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