In a recent March 2016 column titled, Rosmann: What lies in store for agriculture in 2016?, Mike Rosmann painted a bleak seeming future for farmers this year. Based on diminishing markets, weather, and numerous reports from many people involved in agriculture.
Earlier this year, Southwest Farm Press also echoed a poor outlook for 2016. The perspective they took just two months ago was clear,
"This mix of federal fiscal news suggests a mixed projection for U.S. ag in 2016. A slowing of federal spending may put the skids on farm program support, in spite of 2014 farm bill promises."
The projections on 2016 seem to look dim for just about everyone else but Hillview Farm NJ. At least it's safe to say that we don't often come across people who are optimistic about the year.
What's more interesting is how this seems to be the norm year to year. Hearing doom and gloom that is. In reality, it's not necessarily based on the weather, the economy, or other factors.
Take for example the overlooked rise of farming drones in recent years. It used to be quite expensive to get an agricultural drone system up and running. However, in just the last 2-3 years, the price has dropped significantly.
Relatively cheap drones with advanced sensors and imaging capabilities are giving farmers new ways to increase yields and reduce crop damage. Source: MIT Technology Review
The reality is this. Many farmers who jump into advanced agricultural monitoring will gain a tremendous amount of data they didn't once have. And this could make a night and day difference for the farmers who do embrace and adapt to technology.
It could result in an economic impact unlike we've ever seen in the history of agriculture, and the world as a whole.
What do you think? Are we living in the times right before a breakthrough occurs in agriculture? Could reality be the doom and gloom reports are all thinking within an old norm - making predictions based on the agricultural infrastructure of yesterday.
- Coping behaviorally during a 'down time' in farming - Michael R. Rosmann, Ph. D.
- U.S. economy 2016: Major uncertainty for famers - Southwest Farm Press
- Agricultural Drones - MIT Technology Review