At last week’s National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, I had the opportunity to talk with suppliers about how and why precision farming dealer networks are evolving in the industry.      

From the major equipment manufacturers to the ag technology specific companies, nearly every one acknowledged the ongoing transition in the roles and responsibilities of precision specialists as frontline faces for sales and service  within a dealership.

But one of the challenges to this evolution is keeping some farm customers from falling too far behind the adoption curve. Gregg Sauder, founder of 360 Yield Center, noted a troubling trend he is seeing in the ag industry with a growing divide between those farmers who have embraced  ag technology from the start and those who have yet to integrate it into their operation.

“My concern is this. I’m seeing a separation. The really aggressive, early adapters of technology — they are moving quite a ways ahead of let’s say our average grower. My quest and the challenge for our team is, how do we make sure this deviation difference (doesn’t increase) and (to grow) profitability, how we bring that average grower, that’s maybe not even looking for technology — how do we bring him up into that realm? We cannot let this separation get any wider. And so I see it. I struggle with it from that aspect. I want everyone to be profitable. I want every farm family to have a great year. So that’s the quest we’re on.”

Sauder added that proving return on investment with technology is at the core of closing the precision gap and creating a more competitive landscape for those farmers who today, may be struggling with finding more profitable methods to increase productivity.