Science Impact in Agriculture
Despite market uncertainty, agricultural companies must weather the risk that comes with embracing new technologies.
The sting of recent economic downturns is still too painful for some agricultural companies to forget. Back then, global economic expansion enticed agricultural producers to invest in new equipment and technologies designed to improve crop quality and yields for themselves and their customers. When markets unexpectedly crashed, they paid a steep price for having bought at the top of the cycle. The payoff took years to realize, if it appeared at all.
This recollection colors the tentative steps that many advanced agricultural companies are taking today. Indeed, economic growth, although occurring, isn’t particularly robust. It’s anybody’s guess whether we are heading for a soft landing or a renewed takeoff. The US’s future and the prospects for global producers are impossible to read. It’s tempting to believe that a boardroom version of “the prevent defense” — avoiding possible big losses by taking few chances — may be the best strategy.
We believe advanced agricultural companies may be facing some headwinds, but it’s undeniably in the midst of a technological renaissance that is transforming the look, systems, and processes of the modern plant protection and growing techniques. Despite the risks — and despite recent history — advanced agricultural companies cannot afford to ignore these advances. By embracing them now, they can improve productivity in their own farms, compete against rivals, and maintain an edge with customers who are seeking their own gains from innovation. We believe investments in agricultural technology will have the biggest positive impact on businesses.