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David Sparks Ph.d Future of Hi Tech Ag
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: September 28, 2018

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Ceres Imaging CEO Ashwin Madgavkar is an extremely high tech agricultural expert and I asked him about the future of high-tech ag. “It’s really interesting. There’ve been a variety of waves and extremely fast development of ag technology over the last several decades. I will say that there is no better fertilizer than a farmer’s shadow, as a common saying goes. All these technologies really aren’t going to replace the farmer so much as they are going to help the farmer cover more ground. I think we will get to the point where things are fully automated but it’s going to be a long time coming. There is really no silver bullet out there when it comes to agricultural technology. Digital agriculture is still an industry that is in its infancy. As companies try to create products with higher and higher return on investment and more compelling value propositions, we find that imagery can be a part of a farmers compelling agricultural strategy to make better use of their inputs in the face of a lot of challenges that they have that are sometimes old and sometimes new. Like a lot of extreme weather as in the drought situations in California and Australia, new regulations around chemical and fertilizer applications becoming increasingly prevalent and then labor shortages. It’s not so much that the farmer is going to drink a beer and relax during the day but the farmer has a ton of different problems they are facing that need them to do more with less. Technology can be a powerful enabler to help deal with some of these problems and crises that are coming down the pipe but it is never going to replace a farmer’s shadow.

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