Cory Reed, vice president of John Deere’s Intelligent Solutions Group, participated in the recent GAP Report 2015 launch during World Food Prize as a panelist discussing some of the key findings of the study. One area emerged that was highly discussed – the need to improve Total Factor Productivity (TFP) in all countries, including the U.S. John Deere has been a supporter of the Global Harvest Initiative, the organization that publishes the GAP Report, since 2009 and this year he is serving in the role of Board Chair.
In an interview with Reed, he noted that in order to feed the growing population, precision agriculture will play a very important role in global agricultural productivity. Reed explains that in countries like the U.S. where mechanization and scaling of technologies has already occurred, the industry will move more into automating and guidance technologies on the farm as well as optimizing – being able to collect and analyze data about how the crop is grown, share the data, and use it to put better practices in place the next time they farm.
Reed notes that developing markets are also going through the same shift. The report focused on Zambia where they have invested in ag education along with early forms of mechanization, seed technologies, fertilizer technologies, in essence the very same tools being used in developed countries. Although he says, they may not be automated or optimized yet, the same information is available to these farmers.
Collaborative efforts are needed in areas such as ag education and investments to ensure developing countries and small-holder farmers can learn more about agriculture and afford the tools that will help them increase productivity. Reed said John Deere is playing a role in these efforts.
And what’s the next big thing in precision ag? Reed says Connectivity.
Learn more about the role of precision ag in improving productivity in my interview with Cory Reed: [wpaudio url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/zimmcomm/wfp15-johndeere-reed.mp3″ text=”Interview with Cory Reed, John Deere”]