Partners for Advancing Agriculture ®

Precision Ag: A Dynamic Growth Area Redefining Agriculture

Fall 2015

Our world is full of technology. The fastest growing and most applied is “smart technology,” which allows people to unconsciously do many things intuitively without even thinking. Smartphones and tablets are good examples. They are very integrated into our personal and professional lives, and in agriculture, they allow us to access and accomplish many tasks on the go.

Precision Ag (PA) is a great example of “early technology” moving to “smart technology.”  If you look quickly at this picture you don’t see much; if you look longer you think almonds or rice panicles and if you look longer it appears the picture is moving even though it is not an animated picture. PA is like that to many people. Some think of it as “a thing;” a steering solution, variable rate applicators, precision planters and yield monitors. Others think about it as “a service;” imagery, remote sensing or field maps.

As we move forward, PA is likely to be defined in value not by mechanical products or service but more from the “creation of data that becomes actionable knowledge.” Who you work with will become more about who can support your PA initiatives and use them to increase a producer’s ROI.


PA becomes a system that generates profit optimization. It is about the creation, capture, analysis and use of data to improve outcomes.  For retailers, information will be the key to success, and new business models may emerge.

The new marketplace will reward those producers and their retail partners who are fully utilizing PA. Basic manufacturers and OEM may shift their support model.

The PA market is 10-15 years old and we are in our 4th generation evolution of tools, systems and applications.

The picture for PA is not totally clear, but it is moving and creating new value across agriculture. The winners will offer smart products, support them and create impact for their farm, outlet and business.

Provided by Context Senior Associate, Kip Pendleton.