Why do farmers feel the future looks bleak? 3 Reasons to re-evaluate our predictions

farming agdna iphone agriculture app bright crop[Australia] The new Rabobank Rural Confidence report has found that Victorian farmers are ‘feeling flat’ and are beginning to take a negative view of the future of the agricultural economy.

According to the report, a third of farmers believe that the world agricultural economy will improve, while another 20% expect conditions to worsen.

It’s an interesting dichotomy – two completely different outlooks on the future of agriculture, each coming from the same general geographical location. In truth, the radical shift in climate in the 2013-2014 season produced varying results for different farm/crop types; graziers on the whole being pleased that cooler temperatures produced favourable results for grass, while grain growers suffered the consequences.

One can’t overlook how much the climate shift has affected the psychology of farmers – let’s face it, as the climate changes and shows little sign of reversing, the future of investment in specific climate dependent crop types starts to look a little bit bleaker.

However, AgDNA has put together a short list of reasons to re-evaluate those glum predictions, and how to start making the most out of future farm yields.

1. The distance between machinery and farmer is shorter now

In other words, spatial data that used to be scattered among numerous devices can now be interconnected together to form a better view of your farm. AgDNA is an example of a single mobile application that can take all of your unconnected data from your soil devices, weather feeds, and tractor machinery and bring it together in a single place. Because of this, changes to planting and harvesting can be done on the fly, meaning management of future yields becomes easier.

2. The cost of technology is dropping

On the whole, the cost of technology is dropping – in fact, in 2011 Wired magazine effectively began to plot the deflation of basic consumer goods, and what that meant for everyday consumers. They found that the life cycle of most technological advances involves an ‘adoption’ phase, something that increases the value of the technology itself but decreases the cost of the hardware. In the Ag world, the dropping cost of technology is due to the switch from hardware to software – for instance, no longer are stand alone devices needed to measure weather data, instead developers use existing technology (such as iPhones, iPads and tablets) to collect data from devices that already exist. For this reason, farmers no longer have to BUY the hardware, all they need to do is purchase access to the extremely cheap data being provided by software developers.

3. Up to date technology INCREASES farm value

Recent 2014 reports have shown that farm values have increased by 8% in the United States off the back of access to better technology – you can read the AgDNA article on it here

In summary, the bleak outlook appears to be psychological – however there are steps that can be taken to ease the negative effects of climate change.

Farm management software now exists that uses your mobile device as a hub for all your disconnected farm data – at the very least this serves as a great starting point for farmers that are looking into different farm management techniques.

AgDNA is free. Find out more about AgDNA and Mobile Farm Management Systems at http://www.agdna.com

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