Growers are constantly looking to farm technology because they believe that’s where the solutions lie to the vexing problem of a dwindling labor supply. The good news is that in recent years, the conversations between growers and suppliers on this topic have increasingly become a two-way street.
“The tenor of the presentations I hear from high-tech equipment providers increasingly begins with a focus on the grower,” says David Eddy, the editor of Meister Media Worldwide’s American Fruit Grower® magazine (Meister Media Worldwide also publishes Greenhouse Grower). “It seems to me there is a renewed sense among these companies that they need to make more of an effort to meet you at least halfway if they are going to really understand your problems and provide you answers.”
Eddy points out a story “The Future of AI in Agriculture” written by Jan Johnson of Millennium Research, who notes that Founder and CEO Gabe Sibley of Verdant Robotics says growers want simple solutions that make their lives easier and their farms more profitable.
“We took about six months on the road talking with growers who said, ‘Do not give us more data, we have too much data. Tell us what to do with it, or better yet, go do it,’” Sibley says. “You have to perform an action that delivers. You actually have to do the work, not give them data or say this is going to be great one day, just go do a job.”
According to Eddy, increasing your bottom line is obviously vital, but the solutions are so complex, it will take close relationships between tech companies and growers.
Read Dave’s original story here.