Industry Expert Chad Colby Says the Smartest Investment Producers Can Make is in their TechnologyFri, 09 Nov 2018 14:56:22 CST
During the 2018 National Association of Farm Broadcasters Convention in Kansas City this week, Chad Colby of Colby AgTech was a featured keynote speaker who visited with members of the ag media about the importance of technology in modern agricultural production and why farmers should regularly invest in keeping their operations up-to-date technologically. After his presentation, he sat down with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays to talk more in depth about the small steps producers can take to make sure they capture the most benefit from today’s latest technological advancements in precision agriculture. Listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below.
While it is true, the rate at which hi-tech applications are being integrated and adopted by farmers and ranchers into their operations is happening at an incredibly speedy pace. But, according to Colby, this is presenting a new set of challenges for producers to manage.
“I think that presents a lot of challenges,” he reiterated. “Producers today, obviously the margins are little bit short from what they’re accustom to. They keep a close eye on technology, but the problem is they’ve got to decide where they’re going to spend their money.”
When it comes to those producers that he advises, Colby always recommends that they first focus their attention on identifying and strengthening the weakest link in their operation.
“That may mean, for example, if you have a cell-phone that is three years old - it’s time to upgrade, or maybe at the house your internet service isn’t very good. So, you need to get a new router,” Colby explains. “You’ve got to get the basics in first.”
This has become very important in today’s world, even just over the past few years. The world is becoming increasingly more connected and more and more reliant on digital integration- so much so that he says producers can no longer afford not to fully participate with the rest of society which continues to expand the digital landscape. For most people, farmers and ranchers included, the cellphone or iPad has become that key instrument that they turn to on a daily basis to perform basic everyday operations for their businesses. Reinvesting on a regular basis and keeping that equipment up to date, he says, has become just as important as maintaining reliable equipment on the farm like tractors and combines. Obviously, every producer has different needs, though. Colby says once you have the basics under control, seek advice from those you do business with.
“Trust your partners, whoever you work with,” he said. “Your seed dealer, your chemical rep or machinery dealers… listen to those guys to help you try to determine the best place to invest into the technology. You need to be doing so because there is return on that investment in technology.”
As the area of precision ag continues to grow, producers are finding out that there are more opportunities and capabilities than we have ever seen before in the ag arena. Colby says the future holds limitless possibilities.
“That’s where the industry is going and it’s tremendously exciting for the producer because it is going to increase efficiency and there is going to be a better return on investment,” he said. “But it brings on a lot of challenges. What I trust, though, is that the young people coming out of college - there’s a lot of great opportunities for them out there now to get into the ag industry and we’re going to need them.”
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