We live and work in a culture replete with options. Producers face countless decisions regarding the big three – seed, chemical, fertilizer, and a long list of other items. If we look at seed alone, how many choices are there? Hundreds! The adoption of technology on farms has given growers the potential for improved decision making.
Yet in reality, many producers are overwhelmed with options and underwhelmed with results. The rapid development within the ag service provider marketplace has produced a condition I term Decision Paralysis.
“I know I should use my data. There are just too many choices, I don’t know how to choose.”
“I never seem to get anything out of data that truly helps improve my farm.”
“There are so many different companies, which solution is going to work for me? Will they be a long-term partner?”
To some degree, producers suffer from decision paralysis when choosing crop inputs. However, the difference is that when it comes to utilizing information, a farmer can continue to operate even if the information is neglected. He must choose a seed, chemical, fertilizer, tractor, etc. Consider the opportunity cost of neglecting to discover what the data is saying. Will the grower miss an opportunity to: lower production costs? Surpass yield barriers? Be more efficient? Probably.
A few tips on making information work for you:
- 5% Rule – Look to improve one aspect of your operation by this margin
- The best tool/app is the one that you will use! None are perfect.
- Consolidate as much as you can into one tool
- Work with an advisor or a brand that you trust
- Have a specific reason that you start using your farm’s data. Don’t expect something great to jump out just because you spent money on a tool. Without a goal, you will never be satisfied with the results.
Don’t get stuck in the decision paralysis, leverage your local precision ag experts to understand where you can get the ball rolling or for some assurance that you’re on the right path.