AgCast: Looking Down the Ag Technology Road

It’s a pretty exciting time to be part of agriculture today. Virtually every day, companies large and small are developing new technology that does everything from streamlining small, mundane tasks on a farm or ranch, to causing wholesale evolutionary changes to an industry in which innovation has long been tied closely to sustenance and advancement.


But, all that change isn’t without challenges. Can farmers adapt? What about agribusinesses on which they rely for products and services critical to doing their jobs?


Introducing LF AgCast

With the launch of the LF AgCast blog series, we’ve got our eyes to the future and how agriculture will evolve as technology advances. We’re looking at everything from cutting-edge developments in agronomy, like synthetic biology and crop genetics, to marketing and management innovations like cryptocurrencies and how they will change the way farmers do business.


In addition, we’ll look outside of agriculture to the latest developments and news from around the technology world. It’s sometimes easy to get busy looking inward, and our goal is to stay on top of the latest developments from Silicon Valley, MIT and elsewhere, where the tech world’s brightest minds are hard at work to come up with the innovations that will one day be part of everyday life. And, we’ll explore how those bleeding-edge developments can become part of agriculture and the resulting changes for how farmers and other key ag stakeholders will manage their businesses and lives.


What do we mean by that? Just recently, Tesla announced it’s soon rolling out its long-range, all-electric semi-truck. The trucks will have a 500-mile range on a single charge and have performance attributes that literally rival both some of the road’s safest and highest-performing vehicles. Think a Tesla, Prius, Porsche and Snowman from Smokey and the Bandit (minus Jerry Reed, unfortunately) all wrapped up in one package that operates at a lower per-mile cost than a conventional semi truck today.


So, what does the introduction of a semi truck that can go from zero to 60 in five seconds and travel 500 miles between charges mean to agriculture? One of the biggest challenges in agriculture today is logistics and transportation. Having a safer, more efficient and higher-performing truck hauling grain or livestock could change not just transportation itself, but create new management flexibility and marketing opportunities for farm and agribusiness managers who rely on over-the-road trucks every day.


Never-Ending Ag Innovation

Google didn’t exist 20 years ago. But now, it’s part of the largest company on the planet, one built on a set of products and services that also didn’t exist two decades ago. And, Google was just one of many web search engines in its early days before its ubiquity grew to just about every corner of the consumer internet experience, something that increases every day with innovations like this.


Developers are constantly working on potentially disruptive technology like this, and one day, the next Google will come along and alter the ag technology landscape. That “Eureka!” moment will challenge agribusinesses and other key stakeholders to adjust and adapt so they don’t become extinct, like Google’s early competitors — AltaVista, WebCrawler, Lycos, etc. — in the search engine marketplace. Only the most nimble and adaptable among them will come out on top, making it important for leaders to make these traits high priorities in future-proofing their businesses.


Finally, we’re looking at all of these developments — both in and outside of agriculture — in the context of how it will change how companies large and small will navigate the brave new agricultural world, including when it comes to marketing to both existing and potential new customers. We’ll look at the challenges new technology will pose the industry and talk about ways that those challenges can and will be overcome as agriculture continues its perpetual evolution on the cutting edge.


We’ll offer ideas for navigating the new frontier of farm technology and uncover ways to best evolve and future-proof your business to not just ride the wave of innovation, but harness it and put it to work for you.

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