When it comes to new Precision Ag technology and hardware, there is often a bit of anxiety about being the first to try it. I think it goes back to the tongue in cheek adage, “The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.” We often feel like when new technology comes out, we don’t want to be the guinea pig. I don’t care if it’s a new TV technology, the new model of car, a new Smartphone, or a new Precision Ag Display, many of us have trepidation about being first. That is because in prior experiences, no matter phones, cars, or Precision Ag, the early adopters had to work through bugs, software updates, and occasionally a recall. But even after all of that, I think that there are still compelling reasons to be on the leading edge, maybe not in TV’s or Cell Phones, but definitely in Ag technology.
“But why chance it?” you may ask. Is there ever a big enough benefit to outweigh the pain? The simple answer is yes. The better answer is that it depends. I will be the first on record to say that it’s not for everybody. I think that we can break technology users down into two groups, the tinkerers, and the easy buttons.
The easy button group isn’t that hard to understand. They want to push a button and have everything work exactly the way that it was designed. That is what they paid for, and therefore, that is the expectation. For the record, there is nothing wrong with that either. It is their investment, and therefore, they have the right to choose what is satisfactory and what isn’t. But then we have the second group, the tinkerers. This group isn’t happy unless they have a few buttons to push, and get to figure some things out on their own. These are the kinds of people that built their own computer once just because. They want to push the envelope because it is exciting. In fact, they might even be a bit disappointed if it all works perfectly out of the box.
Now I want you to imagine the different reaction that somebody from each group would have if we placed a piece of first release technology on each of their farms. I imagine one would be excited about the opportunity, and the other, sick with worry. Same technology, same ROI potential, and same people supporting it, but two completely different reactions to the new technology.
And so my take home for today is this. A couple of weeks ago at Winter Conference, Precision Planting released some new products which are ready for sale this year, such as SeederForce for Air Seeders and mSet Multi-Hybrid Seed Metering System for planters, and the third generation of the 20/20 display. All will be first-year products this year, but that doesn’t mean that we as a technology advisor are going to shy away from them. We are going to embrace them because we see the potential that they have to impact your operations. But we are not going to talk about them with everybody either. We are going to do our best to identify the right growers out of the tinkerer group that these products will fit on, and that presents many challenges as well. For those of you that are part of a multi-generational operation, you know all too well that one generation might be an Easy Button and the other a Tinkerer. As we try to navigate these differences with you, challenge us to push you.
I firmly believe that some of these new technologies have a potential to provide significant year one financial returns. That means, there are several reasons to push past the first year jitters. And remember, you don’t have to go it alone, our Precision Ag Team is here to help.