This week, we caught up with Ag Leader Marketing Manager Dave King for a question and answer session in order to gain insight into the international precision agriculture landscape and what’s coming next.
Here’s the inside look:
Q: How is the use of precision agriculture growing across the world? What applications are growing at a faster rate?
A: Precision ag has a growing adoption rate across the world. The fastest growing areas are South America, Eastern Europe into Russia and China. The most established areas are Australia, North America and Western Europe. The most popular products are guidance, steering and boom section control.
Q: How do U.S. precision agriculture practices impact the global precision ag field?
A: While Ag Leader is usually thought of as a North American company, we have been selling into the international market for 17 years and currently have distribution in over 30 countries. We are fortunate to work with a great group of distributors who represent the Ag Leader brand across the globe. Some of our distributors have been with us from the beginning and others are new to the Ag Leader family. Our distributors have helped us bring the benefits of precision ag products to growers around the world, and through their hard work, growers internationally are realizing greater decision-making ability, operational efficiencies, input cost-savings and environmental stewardship.
Q: What are some of the global challenges you see affecting precision agriculture?
A: The international market for precision agriculture is complex with different farming practices and equipment for each country and region of the world. It can be a challenge to adapt our products to meet the needs of the farmers in different parts of the world, from fertilizing sugar cane in Brazil to harvesting corn with six-foot row spacing in South Africa. Needless to say, the challenges keep things interesting for us as we continue to expand our international operations.
Q: What do you see as the future for precision ag?
A: Crop sensing technology is important globally because it helps lower input costs and it improves plant health, which leads to greater yield and profit potential. Wireless technology is important because it just makes communication that much easier, and information and answers are right at a producer’s fingertips. I don’t believe wireless technology is as advanced in some countries as it is here. The technology, accessibility and services will continue to grow and expand overseas. Finally, like in the U.S., growers abroad are collecting data, but they don’t always know what to do with it. Precision ag companies will have to incorporate ways to help growers analyze and interpret the data to meet government regulations, as well as plan for the future of their farming operation.
Q: How does Ag Leader work on a global basis regarding collaboration on research, application, etc.?
A: Ag Leader does a lot of testing of products in overseas markets and has worked with Universities and research centers around the world. We are always looking at new technologies and how they can improve the bottom line for farmers.
Q: What does all of this mean for U.S. growers?
A: Ag Leader is an innovator in the precision ag field, and we always keep our ear to the ground, both here in the U.S. and worldwide, so we can continue to grow and improve our product offerings everywhere we do business. That means we are always looking at ways to integrate new technology into our products that ultimately add to our producers’ bottom line.
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