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Farmers make over 140 major decisions each season

Farmers make over 140 major decisions each season

John Deere rep: what can we learn from the past to apply to the future?

By Denise Faguy

“It’s a dynamic time to be in agriculture,” said Jeremy Parkinson, solutions specialist at John Deere Canada ULC, during his presentation at the Precision Agriculture Conference and Ag Tech Showcase on Nov. 26. 

Parkinson shared John Deere’s vision for the future of precision agriculture.

“Each and every one of you face challenges to produce more with less as demand for food continues to grow,” he said.

It is a dynamic time to work in agriculture because the world is constantly changing, Parkinson said. Farmers face challenges with a shrinking labor force and the relentless pressure to produce more with less. 

Fortunately, new technologies continue to make advances which will help farmers rise to these challenges and continue to feed a growing global population, he said. 

Traditionally, agriculture focused on farming by the field. As the industry produces more with less, the focus will need to shift to the micro level: the plant. Farmers will need to maximize the potential of every seed that goes in the ground, Parkinson said. Smarter, more automated machines will enable this transition, he said.

“Farmers make over 140 major decisions each season,” Parkinson said.

Better data powers better outcomes for farmers. Producers can use a complete set of data on the farm to understand cause and effect more deeply. Growers can also use this data to help accelerate the learning process about what works and doesn’t work on their farms.

For producers, the power of data is to help them learn from the past, as well as to help them plan, he said. Farmers’ decisions are all about the returns on their investments. 

“This applies to decisions about seed, fertility, fungicide, land, … equipment and technology,” said Parkinson. 

“Even though every season is different, we know it’s pretty important to understand the past. Even though next week or next season will have some differences, being a good student of history can prepare you to make better decisions in the future.”

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